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   Cruise Travel - Cruise News

Cruise Club is a free service, and when you join, you will begin receiving weekly updates including the latest cruise news and cruise specialsWelcome to this week's edition of Cruise News, the best place on the Web to find up-to-date information about cruises. To automatically receive Cruise News via email each week, join our Cruise Club.

For up to the minute news, stop by Cruise Talk anytime to post a message or find out what your fellow passengers and industry insiders are saying about a particular ship, cruise line or destination.


Cruise News - January 14, 2019

Regent Seven Seas Orders New Ship
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced an order for a new ship for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The new vessel will be a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor. The ship will be designed and built by Fincantieri S.p.A. for delivery in late 2023.

Building on the success of its predecessors, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ newest addition will continue to set the standard for defining elegance at sea. Accommodating up to 750 guests, the intimate and spacious new ship will be the brand’s sixth-all-suite vessel. Details regarding her itineraries, accommodations, dining venues, amenities and onboard experiences will be revealed leading up to her 2023 debut. Voyages for the ship’s inaugural season will go on sale in 2021.

“We are excited to build on the spectacular success of Seven Seas Explorer and Seven Seas Splendor as we embark on bringing to life a new vessel that will set an even higher benchmark for elegance, luxury and style,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This new ship further strengthens our Company’s robust yet measured growth profile with vessels now on order for all three of our award-winning brands, enabling us to expand our presence globally, further diversify our product offerings and continue to drive shareholder returns.”

Since debuting in 2016, Seven Seas Explorer has solidified her reputation as the most luxurious ship ever built with numerous industry awards and continued accolades from guests across the globe. The eagerly anticipated Seven Seas Splendor, set for delivery in early 2020, is following in her predecessor’s footsteps, driving the line’s single-day booking record when voyages for her inaugural season were opened for sale in April 2018.

“Over the past 12 months Regent Seven Seas Cruises has completed a $125 million revitalization of our fleet, began construction on Seven Seas Splendor, unveiled our 2020-2021 Voyage Collection with 167 itineraries and new ports, introduced new relaxed outdoor evening dining venues, debuted the industry’s most immersive Cuba itineraries, revealed Go Local Tours shore excursions, and today we announce the order for our newest category-defining luxury cruise ship," said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. "Our growth is a reflection of the amazing people who work across our fleet, our valued shoreside employees, our loyal guests and their trusted travel advisors. These are exciting times for everyone associated with Regent Seven Seas Cruises and we can’t wait to show you what’s next.”

The contract price for the vessel is approximately €475 million. The Company has obtained export credit financing with favorable terms to fund 80 percent of the contract price of the ship, subject to certain Italian government approvals.

With today's announcement, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has eleven ships on order for delivery through 2027 including seven ships on order for Norwegian Cruise Line, two for Oceania Cruises and two for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Company will take delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, in fall 2019.

“This agreement is the perfect seal of the work our Group has carried out over the years and the role we have gained on the market. We are able to enter and maintain a reference market presence in every niche, including the most unique and competitive as the ultra-luxury one, in which Regent Seven Seas Cruises operates. Quality is the ship owner’s hallmark and it entrusted Fincantieri once again,” stated Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “Today we have 10 ships on order for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. in our order book, 5 of which have been secured in the last 5 months, for all the three brands in their portfolio: this result confirms the strength of the strategies we carried out, allowing us to reiterate our leadership in the sector at a global level.”

Virgin Voyages Reveals RockStar Suites
Virgin Voyages, the new lifestyle brand set to disrupt the travel industry, today released several designs and images of their RockStar Suites. The new company is throwing out traditional clichés on luxury and formalities, and instead bringing Rebellious Luxe to life at sea with their RockStar Suites designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio as the pinnacle of that experience.

Highlights of the Massive Suite, the top suite aboard the Scarlet Lady, include its very own guitar-clad music room, views of the ocean from every corner of the suite, and a massive terrace complete with its own Peek-a-View outdoor shower, hot tub, hammocks and a runway outdoor dining table, where a staircase will help Sailors make their way on top of the table for dancing.

“Virgin has always avoided stuffy formalities and brought a lot of excitement and a bit of rebelliousness to our customer experiences,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group. “With these glamorous suites, Virgin Voyages is bringing rock and roll to the high seas and spoiling our Sailors like the rockstars they are.”

“We have combined brilliant design and Virgin Voyages’ epic Sailor experience vision to create a completely new version of luxury-- Rebellious Luxe, which is at the intersection of luxury and a rebellious attitude that makes everything we do different, indulgent and meaningfully relevant to our Sailors. Whether they want to sleep all day, praise the sun with yoga at dusk or party all night, our RockStar Suite Sailors can live out their fantasies aboard the Scarlet Lady,” said Tom McAlpin CEO of Virgin Voyages.

Virgin Voyages’ RockStar Suites bring a fresh take to yachting glamour steeped in the Virgin brand’s rock and roll heritage. Inspired by mega yachts and rock and roll style icons like Grace Jones, the RockStar Suites feature Tom Dixon’s iconic retro-futurism designs with a palette of deep blues used with iridescent dichroic elements to echo the colors of the sky and sea when sailing. Touches of yacht materiality are sprinkled throughout the suites with real leather finishes, marble-clad bathrooms and Terrazzo flooring. The suite’s design features nautical nods with a brass glam station and accenting beauty counter and bedhead lighting. The supremely modern suites boast high-quality design elements and bespoke Tom Dixon furniture pieces. Because music is the soundtrack to the soul, each suite is equipped with a vinyl turntable.

“We were intrigued to be appointed to rethink some of the most interesting spaces on this ship. A very rare opportunity to delve into a completely new escapist realm,” said Tom Dixon.

With suites situated atop of the Scarlet Lady, RockStar Suites Sailors will have the best view that money can buy, with all suites purposefully configured to maximize the view of the ocean. Many of the ship’s suites feature a Peek-a-Boo shower, an all marble shower with a dichroic glass window carved in the center so Sailors can always look out at the ocean. Rockstars who opt for the ship’s top Mega RockStar Suites, can bathe under the sun or stars with their very own Peek-a-View outdoor shower.

Because a rockstar can never have too much champagne, the sea terrace for each suite will feature a specially-designed champagne table where an ice bucket fits perfectly at the center of the table situated next to stargazing loungers, and Yellow Leaf brand, sustainably sourced terrace hammocks.

RockStar Suites Sailors will live their best lives all taken care of by the RockStar Services Crew, from time of booking, to sail away and throughout their voyage. There will be backstage access for RockStar Suites Sailors at every corner, with early access to onboard entertainment, restaurants, Shore Things, a private transfer to and from the ship in Miami and an exclusive express VIP pathway to the ship during embarkation. RockStar Suites Sailors will have their very own wardrobe team to help unpack and repack, complimentary pressing service and nightly express swimsuit drying service-- because no rockstar should ever have a wet bottom.

In Rebellious Luxe fashion, Virgin Voyages has reimagined the mini-bar for its rockstars, instead, suites will have a full bar and cocktail kit fit for a rockstar, with the first round on the house.

All RockStar Suites Sailors will have access to Richard's Rooftop, their very own private members club-- a secluded place for them to bask under the sun or have a drink under the stars.

All suites are clever cabins, with mood lighting that automatically adjusts to match the time of day and in room tablets that allow sailors to adjust the room’s lighting. Sailors will enjoy luxurious comforts like premium linens and a plush European king bed in every suite as well as upgraded bath amenities for pampering.

Sailors looking to up their vacation game, can opt for one of the Scarlet Lady’s Mega RockStar Suites, primely located on deck 15. Mega RockStar Suites will receive a personalized bar filled with their favorites, and the RockStar Services Crew will tend to their rockstar rider list, digging up whatever their heart may desire to make their voyage perfect-- all red gummy bears, an electric guitar and beyond. With only 78 RockStar Suites aboard the Scarlet Lady, among them are 15 Mega RockStar Suites, aptly named the Massive Suites, Fab Suites, Posh Suites and Gorgeous Suites.

There are only two Massive Suites aboard the Scarlet Lady, with each suite sitting atop of the ship’s bridge. These 2,147 square foot suites, are a place that legends dream of-- each with its very own music room, which seconds as an extra bedroom that is stocked with guitars and an amplifier. At the center of the Massive Suite is a circular oversized couch set up, perfect for conversation and cocktails from the suite’s adjacent in-room bar. Rockstars can primp for an appearance aboard the Scarlet Lady in the suite’s glamorous bath and dressing room area complete with a hot tub, vanity area, two full-sized wardrobes and a marble-clad bathroom with a Peek-a-Boo shower area that overlooks the bedroom and out to the ocean. The Massive Suite’s larger-than-life terrace will be where friends, family and groupies alike can enjoy a private hot tub, a Peek-a-View outdoor shower, a circular conversation pit, a lookout point with stargazing loungers and two full length hammocks. Sailors in the Massive Suite can climb a staircase to the top of the runway outdoor table for dining and dancing in full rockstar glory.

MSC Cruises Reveals Details Of Ocean Cay
Uninterrupted ocean views, crystal clear waters, soft white sandy beaches with blue skies and sunshine – this dream of paradise will become a reality for MSC Cruises guests when they visit Ocean Cay (pronounced "key") MSC Marine Reserve. MSC Cruises, the world's largest privately-owned cruise company, today revealed more details of this one-of-a-kind island experience that will await guests starting November 9th this year.

Imagine a tranquil morning spent relaxing in a cabana on the beach followed by a snorkel tour to discover the coral and taking in the colorful fish and abundant marine life. The afternoon is spent taking part in beach activities, perhaps a game of beach volleyball or shopping for souvenirs. As the sun starts to set, move to one of the beach bars to sip on a cocktail, taking in the stunning sea views and an atmosphere of peace and serenity. Finally, finish the evening with a movie under the stars before returning to the comfort of your ship. Simply magical!

With Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises is transforming a former industrial sand extraction site into a flourishing marine reserve and private island destination that will exist in harmony with the local ecosystem. Ocean Cay has been designed to immerse guests in the natural beauty of their surroundings. The vision is to create a sustainable destination with activities that allow guests to connect with nature and provide opportunities to learn about the protection of the oceans and the importance of preserving coral reefs through dedicated edutainment programs.

The island is surrounded by 64 square miles of protected waters, and a coral nursery is being established to encourage and sustain the growth of new coral. Plans are underway for a marine laboratory to be situated on Ocean Cay for researching climate change-resistant coral in hopes of providing insights to similar island habitats.

MSC Cruises' CEO Gianni Onorato explains, "Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve will bring something new and unique to our Caribbean itineraries from Miami and is set to become a truly memorable highlight for our guests. We have created a guest experience that complements the breath-taking natural beauty of this remarkable part of the Caribbean. There was no need for us to build extensively on an island that already had the ingredients of a natural paradise. However, we have undertaken extensive work to clean-up the island, removing tons of historic industrial waste and helping to return the beaches, and the entire 64 square miles of protected waters surrounding the island, to their pristine state."

Onorato continued, "For the guest services on the island we have kept it authentic and designed an experience that will allow guests to simply enjoy nature at its best. The ship is an integral part of the experience as we have built a pier so that guests can go easily back and forth between the ship throughout the day making full use of both the ashore and onboard facilities."

With over two miles of beautiful white sandy beach shore formed from the world's best aragonite sand, guests will be spoilt for choice with seven distinct beach areas, each with their own allure and character. Guests can either escape with warm sand between their toes and the sound of the ocean, or be more active with beach games and water sports.

Sun beds will be available on all beaches, and some beaches will offer cabanas that can be rented for the day. The Great Lagoon's shallow crystal-clear water is perfect for protected swimming and water sports, while the smaller family lagoon is designed for younger guests to enjoy, offering very shallow, calm water and plenty of games. At over half a mile long, the Great Bimini Beach is the largest stretch of beach on the island, as well as the place to go to enjoy a variety of water sports.

The Ocean Cay excursions will allow visitors to explore, discover, relax and enjoy nature's beauty at it's very best. Discover the waters around the island through snorkel safaris, kayak tours and paddle boarding. The Family Explorer club will also offer fun activities for the entire family.

For those looking for a really special experience, Ocean Cay guests are able to privately rent a smaller island close to the main body of land for the day, which will include: a private boat that will take the group to the island and remain at their disposal; and a marquee, sun beds and loungers and food and drinks. Near the island is an old shipwreck, making it a wonderful spot for snorkeling.

In addition to the excursions, guests can participate in a wide range of entertainment activities including sports games and tournaments, dance lessons as well activities for the entire family.

One of the key highlights of Ocean Cay is that the ship will remain in port into the evening since the island is conveniently located just 65 miles south of Miami, allowing for a range of incredible evening experiences. Once the sun goes down guests can enjoy night time activities such as stargazing on the beach or romantic sunset catamaran tours to bring the day to a very special close. The entertainment on the island will focus around the iconic Lighthouse with breathtaking sunsets and with live music or DJs and a surprising visual experience that will further enhance the atmosphere.

As part of the commitment to ensure that the island is sustainable and to minimize waste, there is a select number of dining options on Ocean Cay. The ship will also be fully operational while docked at the island, and the furthest point from the ship is only a 20-minute walk, or there will be an electric carts service available to transport guests around the island.

The choice of options for food and drink ashore will include:

• Buffet: Conveniently located near the family lagoon, at the buffet guests will get freshly prepared meals from a variety of international culinary traditions, including American classics and authentic Bahamian flavors as well as some kids' favorites.

• Food carts: For guests not seeking a sit-down meal, food carts with casual street food will be available including a taco truck, conch fitter truck, and more. The trucks will be stationary during the day around the beaches and will move to the Marina area at night creating an atmospheric food festival-style feel.

• Food and beverage services will be offered at an additional cost with upgrades available to the beverage package. As the ship is easily accessible guests are able to walk on and off at their leisure, allowing them to also be able to freely dine on board as they choose.

A range of different bars with varying atmospheres and ambiences are spread across the island. These include:

• Authentic Bahamian Bar: Located in the Marina, this friendly bar offers cocktails and drinks in an authentic Bahamian style.

• Lighthouse Bar: This Hemingway-style cocktail bar offers an ample selection of rums, other spirits and delicious cocktails, all with incredible sea views. It's the perfect spot to take a break from one of the island's many activities during the day.

• Beach Bars: There are seven beach bars spread across the island, each with its own personality and its own special look and feel.

• Ice Cream Parlour and Coffee Bar: Located in the Marina, this venue offers different kinds of ice cream, from classics to more innovative flavors. The coffee bar serves freshly brewed whole bean and ground coffee, espresso and cappuccino for an energetic start or a quick afternoon boost.

A key part of the island experience is a specially designed retail concept created to reflect the overall vision of the island. Across four distinct shopping areas, guests have the opportunity to take home unique and special souvenirs or find vacation essentials that they may need.

The Bahamian Shop & Market hosts authentic arts and crafts by local artisans and Bahamian companies to perfectly complement the spirit of the Bahamas. Meanwhile the Ocean Cay Trading Post offers a wide selection of exclusive Ocean Cay souvenirs and gifts inspired by nature with items for adults and children ranging from T-shirts, caps, beach items, towels and accessories.

Guests will be able to purchase essentials for the whole family from the MSC Shop, with a range of MSC Cruises branded products such as hats, flip flops, towels, beach bags, sunscreen and lip balms. Guests will also find a number of exclusive partnership products highlighting the marine and sustainable values of the island. Finally guests can collect pre-ordered essential items at the Welcome Center including Ocean Cay survival kits and other essentials and at the same time gather top tips for a day on Ocean Cay.

For those guests looking to relax and rejuvenate on the island, there will be services provided by the award-winning MSC Aurea Spa with a selection of relaxing body and facial treatments. All the beauty products used on the island are bio-degradable and eco-friendly. Some of the specially-designed treatments include the Ocean Cay Breeze Boost massage, which uses aromatic spray waters with soothing and refreshing properties, mainly aimed at the legs, feet and back — the areas of the body normally more exposed to sun. The Ocean Cay Breeze Facial offers the soothing properties of a calming mask and refreshing spray waters, providing relief for delicate facial skin exposed to the sun.

In addition to all of this, MSC Cruises is already planning further enhancements to the already unique and rich offering that has been designed to welcome guests on Ocean Cay.

The island will welcome its first guests on November 9, 2019.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Opening of Second School
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. a leading global cruise company operating the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announced the re-opening of the Morne Prosper Pre and Primary Schools in Morne Prosper Village, Dominica, the second school to benefit from the company’s Hope Starts Here hurricane relief campaign.

Together with All Hands and Hearts, the company raised over $2.5 million dollars to deliver early relief response and rebuild safe, resilient schools in the Caribbean communities impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. A portion of the proceeds was used to rebuild the pre and primary schools in Morne Prosper Village, which suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Maria. For the primary school, two classrooms that were completely destroyed were rebuilt while new, much-needed kitchen and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities were also constructed for the school. The entire pre-school was also rebuilt with the addition of a new playground.

On January 10, officials from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and All Hands and Hearts along with local representatives from Dominica attended the grand opening celebration of the pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade school, which will open its doors to teachers and students today.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of the second school in the Caribbean that has benefited from our Hope Starts Here hurricane relief campaign in partnership with All Hands and Hearts,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We are incredibly thankful for all those who have brought lasting hope to children, families and the Dominica community by contributing to the re-opening of the Morne Prosper Pre and Primary Schools.”

“We’re grateful for partners like Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings who support our response and recovery efforts,” said David Campbell, Co-Founder and Chairman of All Hands and Hearts. “At the center of our work are Build Back Better techniques to make schools, like Morne Prosper, resistant against future natural disasters. Working closely with the Ministry of Education, other NGOs, the schools and local communities, this essential work will create much safer, resilient learning environments, and also serve as evacuation shelters for surrounding communities.”

The Hope Starts Here hurricane relief program launched in late September 2017, when the company partnered with relief organization All Hands and Hearts to help provide immediate relief in Key West and reconstruct schools and critical infrastructure in affected islands in the Caribbean including St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Tortola. It has been the largest fundraising campaign in the company’s history. Within 90 days of the launch, Hope Starts Here reached its goal of raising $2.5 million to assist All Hands and Hearts. The program received more than $1.25 million in donations from the company’s valued team members, loyal guests, travel partners and business partners, which Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. matched.

Holland America Line Turns Up the Heat with Five New Cooking Shows for 2019
From foodie newbies to seasoned cooks, Holland America Line is encouraging guests to embrace their love of cooking alongside the experts at America's Test Kitchen with five new shows starting in January 2019. The new 45-minute presentations — covering everything from tacos and takeout to dinner for two and sweet treats — join the 14 current shows and feature a mix of video, instruction and live recipe demonstrations.

All Holland America Line ships (except Maasdam) feature America's Test Kitchen venues that replicate the set where the prominent "America's Test Kitchen" television shows are recorded for broadcast on public television stations nationwide. The onboard cooking shows on every cruise are hosted by Holland America Line chefs trained by America's Test Kitchen culinary experts and, like the TV shows, combine thoroughly tested recipes with practical tips on everything from how to select fresh fruits and vegetables to how to use kitchen knives safely and efficiently.

"Holland America Line guests are knowledge seekers, foodies and learners, and our America's Test Kitchen shows really resonate with them — which is why they're wildly popular and draw standing-room-only crowds," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "We're excited to expand on the already exceptional menu of shows offered by America's Test Kitchen to include some fun topics that easily transition to the home kitchen."

New America's Test Kitchen shows aboard Holland America Line ships:

• Sweet and Fruity Desserts: The naturally sweet, tart flavors of apples and raspberries take center stage in two knockout desserts: apple crisp and cheese blintzes with raspberry sauce.

• Dinner Classics for Two: Learn our secrets for perfect chicken marsala, rice pilaf and warm chocolate fudge cakes to make an elegant meal for two.

• Mediterranean Medley: This easy weeknight meal is an assortment of dishes from countries along the Mediterranean, including restaurant-style hummus and tender lamb meatballs with couscous and yogurt sauce.

• Serious Tacos: Elevate your tacos with two new recipes: shredded chicken tacos braised in a deeply flavored sauce of chilies, tomatoes and spices; and easy (and crispy) shrimp tacos.

• Make Your Own Takeout: Forget about ordering takeout favorites like pad thai and scallion pancakes. Learn how to make your own authentic versions at home with test kitchen tips.

• The five new cooking shows join a collection of 14 demonstrations, including Meatless Monday Meals, Everything Salmon, Flavors of the Mediterranean, New Italian Favorites, We Love Chocolate, Getting to Know Chiles, Salad for Dinner, Asian Dumplings, Tapas Party, Steakhouse Dinner, Blue Ribbon Breakfasts, Beyond Pasta, Lunch for a Rainy Day and Southern Snacking.

• In addition to the shows, Holland America Line guests have 24-hour access to episodes of "America's Test Kitchen" and "Cook's Country" television programs in their staterooms.

Carnival Corporation Names Katie Lahey To Board Of Directors
Carnival Corporation today announced that on January 14, 2019, Katie Lahey, executive chair, Australasia, for Korn Ferry, has been appointed to the company's boards of directors, effective immediately. The announcement was made following the meeting of the company's boards of directors held yesterday in Miami, Florida.

In addition to her seven-year role with leadership and talent firm, Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY), Lahey is also chairman of the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia, and a non-executive director of Star Entertainment Group (ASX: SGR). She previously served as executive chair of Carnival Australia, a division of Carnival plc, from 2006 to 2013.

Katie's board experience spans 25 years, with outstanding networks at the highest levels of government and business throughout Australia and New Zealand. She was named one of Australia's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business by The Australian magazine in 2015. A seasoned executive with 30 years of experience in tourism, government, retail, talent sourcing, cultural transformation and the arts, Lahey will serve in a non-executive capacity on Carnival Corporation's 12-member boards of directors. She will also serve on the Audit Committees.

"We are very pleased to welcome Katie who brings an extraordinary record of achievement and deep expertise in tourism, government, retail and entertainment to our boards of directors," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman. "Katie previously held chief executive roles in the public and private sectors and is also a strong advocate for greater representation of women in executive roles. We are looking forward to working closely with her."

As Executive Chairman, Australasia, for Korn Ferry, Lahey has P&L responsibility for Australia and New Zealand, which has grown under her leadership. She oversaw the integration of the Hay Consulting Group in Australasia, which was acquired by Korn Ferry in 2016. Previously she was CEO of the Business Council of Australia, State Chamber of Commerce, Sydney City Council and, Chairman and CEO of the Victorian Tourism Commission. Lahey earned a Master of Business Administration from Melbourne University Business School.

In addition, the boards announced that Jason Glenn Cahilly will step down from his position as a member of the Audit Committees to accept the appointment to the Health, Environmental, Safety & Security Committees of the boards effective April 1, 2019.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 52.20 + 3.08%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 104.979 + 3.08%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.55 + 1.97%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 45.54 + 4.19%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
During the Queen Mary's last voyage in 1967, a 14,559 mile journey across the Atlantic and around South America, she carried two very large pieces of unusual cargo on her main deck - what were they?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
The decorative doors of the classic French liner Normandie's Grand Foyer survived the ship's fire and sinking. Where can you see those doors today?

Answer - Normandie's famous foyer doors can be seen at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Brooklyn NY.
courtesy of John Fostik


Cruise News - January 7, 2019

Oceania Cruises Orders Two New Ships
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. today announced an order for the next generation of ships for Oceania Cruises. The two Allura-Class ships mark the next phase of the line's OceaniaNEXT initiative and will be designed and built by Fincantieri S.p.A. for delivery in 2022 and 2025.

“We are excited to expand the Oceania Cruises fleet with our new Allura-Class ships to meet the strong demand for upscale culinary- and destination-focused cruise vacations around the globe,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This new class of ships will further elevate the already best-in-class guest experience at Oceania Cruises and meaningfully strengthen demand from both new and loyal returning guests, which will ultimately drive further returns for shareholders.”

The two 67,000 gross ton Allura-Class ships will each accommodate approximately 1,200 guests. This new class of mid-size cruise vessels will retain all the warmth, popular design elements, and signature amenities of the line’s award-winning Marina and Riviera while affording guests an elevated level of comfort and convenience with the addition of new luxury offerings.

“This new class of ships will represent an evolution of the Oceania Cruises experience with all of the elements our guests treasure – a warm, intimate, residential style; the most spacious standard staterooms afloat; amazing suites, and of course, the finest cuisine at sea,” said Bob Binder, president and chief executive officer of Oceania Cruises.

“This new successful project for Oceania Cruises is yet another demonstration of our ability to capitalize on product innovation and diversification to meet the needs of every type of customer, a capability that distinguishes us in the world,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “The order we are announcing today, indeed, reiterates not only our first place in the luxury sector, but at the same time it further strengthens an unprecedented leadership in the cruise sector, with a backlog of 55 vessels to be built for most of the brands operating on this market, and deliveries extending all the way to 2027.”

The contract price for each of the two vessels is approximately €575 million per ship. The Company has obtained export credit financing with favorable terms to fund 80 percent of the contract price of each ship, subject to certain Italian government approvals.

With today's announcement, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has ten ships on order for delivery through 2027 including seven ships on order for Norwegian Cruise Line, two for Oceania Cruises and one for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The Company will take delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, in fall 2019.

Viking Announces Newest World Cruise
Viking today announced its new 2020-2021 Viking World Cruise, which will span 161 days, six continents and 75 ports, with overnight stays in 13 cities. Setting sail on December 14, 2020 from Miami, the itinerary will include six new ports of call for Viking, including Honolulu and Nawiliwili, marking the company's inaugural visit to the Hawaiian Islands.

Sailing on Viking's award-winning 930-guest all-veranda Viking Sun, this grand voyage will allow guests to explore islands of the Caribbean and the South Pacific; call upon ports in Asia, from Hong Kong to Bangkok; explore countries of the Middle East, including Oman, Jordan, Egypt and Israel; and sail through the Mediterranean before concluding in London. Guests can also choose a shorter, 140-day segment of the sailing, 2021 Viking World Discoveries, which departs from Los Angeles in January 4, 2021, and visits 27 countries and 66 ports.

"With the announcement of our newest World Cruise, we remain firm in our commitment to offer travelers the most immersive and culturally enriching itineraries available," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "We are a destination-focused travel company, and it has always been our priority to help our guests connect to the destination. It is evident in everything we do – it is why we offer an included excursion in every port; why we have the most extensive Resident Historian program in the industry; and why our ships are smaller to bring travelers to more intimate ports."

2020-2021 Viking World Cruise Highlights:

Viking's newest World Cruise itinerary visits dozens of the world's preeminent cities in one seamless itinerary. Overnight stays in 13 cities allow World Cruise guests to delve deeper into the destination, and Viking's Culture Curriculum offers additional enrichment through onboard lectures and entertainment – such as Viking's Resident Historian program, which provides guests with a high-level historical and cultural education specific to their journey. Guests will immerse themselves in the world's rich cultures during included excursions that provide unmatched insight into daily life, as well as Privileged Access visits to cultural institutions. Highlights of the new 2020-2021 Viking World Cruise itinerary include:

• Oahu (Honolulu), Hawaii (NEW): The Heart of Hawaii: Guests can enjoy everything from historic landmarks to world-class shopping on the island of Oahu. Soak up the sun along Waikiki Beach's pristine beaches or visit Pearl Harbor to see where the tragic events of December 7, 1941 unfolded.

• Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii (NEW): The Garden Island: Nicknamed Hawaii's "Garden Island," guests will explore the lush vegetation and wildflowers of tropical Kauai while in port. Visit the Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens & Sculpture Park, an infusion of beautiful flora and art and home to one of the largest collections of bronze sculptures in the U.S., or follow the footsteps of Captain James Cook, the British explorer credited with the first recorded European contact with the Hawaiian Islands.

• Moorea (Opunohu Bay), French Polynesia (NEW): Paradise in the Tropics: This tropical island is famed for its unprecedented beauty and its cuisine is as colorful as its landscape, drawing on influences from both European and Chinese settlers. Guests can take in this idyllic paradise from the water onboard a catamaran or immerse themselves in Polynesian traditions and customs by engaging with locals.

• Hue (Chan May), Vietnam (NEW): Palaces and Temples: Discover the ancient Imperial City of Hue, a rich repository of palaces and temples and seat of the Nguyen Dynasty for 150 years. Guests can experience the locals' morning trading activities during a visit to a traditional food market or explore the crumbling stone walls of the citadel, which holds stories of long-fought battles.

• Sydney, Australia: Iconic Harbor: Guests will sail into Sydney's magnificent harbor, the world's largest, and enjoy an overnight stay allowing ample time to explore this culture-rich city. Guests can enjoy an insider's view of Australia's world-class opera house or experience the natural wonders of the nearby Blue Mountains.

• Mumbai, India: A City of Old and New: Formerly Bombay, the bustling city of Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. While in port, guests can learn about the iconic activist Gandhi or enjoy the Hanging Gardens, one of the prized few parks found in the city.

• Istanbul, Turkey: Where East Meets West: An overnight stay in Istanbul gives guests more time to experience this historic city that straddles two continents across the Bosporus Strait. Explore a wealth of religious sites such as the spectacular Blue Mosque or the legendary Hagia Sophia, or sample delicious fusion cuisine, combining fresh Mediterranean fare with spices from the Far East and Asia.

• London (Greenwich), England: The Royal Borough: Guests will end their sailing in the historic Royal Borough of Greenwich, London on the Thames River, allowing easy access to the regal capital's iconic sights, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Viking's ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, with 465 staterooms that can host 930 guests. Viking Sun is part of Viking's award-winning ocean fleet of sister ships, which also includes Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Orion. Viking's sixth ocean ship, Viking Jupiter, is scheduled for delivery in February 2019. Classified by Cruise Critic as "small ships," Viking's ocean fleet features modern Scandinavian design with elegant touches, intimate spaces and attention to detail. Highlights include:

• All Veranda Staterooms: Guests can choose from five stateroom categories, starting from 270 sq. ft. Veranda Staterooms, all with private verandas, sweeping views of the destination and premium amenities that include king-size beds with luxury linens, generously proportioned closets, large interactive flat-screen LCD TVs with movies-on-demand, free Wi-Fi and award-winning bathrooms with large showers, premium Freyja bath products and heated floors.

• Explorer Suites: The ships feature 14 Explorer Suites, which are two-room suites ranging from 757 to 1,163 sq. ft. With expansive views from wraparound private verandas, as well as the most amenities and privileges of any category on board, Explorer Suites offer the ultimate sanctuary for World Cruise guests.

• Two Pool Choices: In addition to the Main Pool with a retractable roof permitting any-season swimming, the ships feature a first-of-its-kind glass-backed Infinity Pool cantilevered off the stern, allowing guests to swim surrounded by their destination. LivNordic Spa: In keeping with Viking's Nordic heritage, The Spa on board is designed with the holistic wellness philosophy of Scandinavia in mind—from the centuries-old tradition of the sauna to a Snow Grotto where snowflakes gently descend from the ceiling through chilled air. Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 named it one of the "5 best cruise ship spas."

• Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's: Share a cocktail with friends. Linger over a Norwegian breakfast and a nautical history book. The Explorers' Lounge and Mamsen's gourmet deli are thoughtful spaces located at the bow of the ship and designed to represent the Scandinavian spirit for complete relaxation and for marveling at sweeping views through double-height windows.

• The Wintergarden: Guests looking for serenity will find it in the Wintergarden. In this elegant space under a canopy of Scandinavian trellised wood, guests can indulge in afternoon tea service.

• Dining Choices: Viking's ships offer eight dining options, all with no additional charge or fee—from fine dining in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a variety of culinary options, and the World Café, which features international fare and regional specialties including a sushi and seafood cold bar—to intimate alternative dining experiences at The Chef's Table, which offers a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, and Manfredi's, which features freshly prepared pastas and Italian favorites. The Pool Grill specializes in gourmet burgers, while afternoon tea and scones are available in the Wintergarden. Mamsen's serves Norwegian deli-style fare, and complimentary 24-hour room service allows all guests to enjoy many signature dishes in the comfort of their stateroom. Furthermore, with multiple choices for outdoor seating during meals, Viking's ocean ships offer the most al fresco dining at sea. Additionally, The Kitchen Table specializes in regional dishes from market to table.

• Cultural Enrichment: Viking experiences from ship to shore are designed for unparalleled access and cultural enrichment. Viking Resident Historians deliver high-level historical and cultural education specific to the journey, offering invaluable insight in to the rich history of the destination. Guest Lecturers who are experts in their fields shed light on the destination's art, architecture, music, geopolitics, natural world and more. Destination Performances represent the most iconic cultural performing arts of the region—whether it be Italian opera or Portuguese fado. Resident Classical Musicians—pianists, guitarists, violinists and flautists—perform classical compositions throughout the ships. And Culinary Classes in The Kitchen Table, Viking's onboard cooking school, focus on regional cuisine.

• Nordic Inspiration: Even the smallest details take their inspiration from the exploratory spirit of the original Vikings, reflecting deeply held Nordic traditions. Light wood grains, touches of slate and teak, Swedish limestone and fragrant juniper appear throughout the public spaces and Spa. The Clinker-built design of the Viking Bar mirrors the construction style of the original Viking Longships. A Viking Heritage Center provides history and context from the Viking Age. And characters from Norse Mythology are subtly incorporated into the design, providing curious guests with inspiration to further explore Viking's Nordic heritage.

• Sustainable Features: Designed to be environmentally friendly, Viking's ships feature energy-efficient hybrid engines, hydro-dynamically optimized streamlined hull and bow for maximum fuel efficiency and equipment that reduces exhaust pollution and meets the strictest worldwide environmental regulations.

Cunard Announces New Steakhouse Dining Concept in The Verandah
Cunard this week announced a new dining concept, 'Steakhouse at The Verandah,' which has become a permanent feature at the alternative dining restaurant on board the line's three Queens—Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

Taking influence from both sides of the Atlantic, Cunard's team of chefs have curated a menu showcasing prime USDA gran finished New York strip steak, Main lobster and Alaskan king crab, alongside dishes celebrating British provenance such as Scotch grass-fed, dry aged beef and Salt Marsh lamb rack. Offerings from farther afield such as renowned Waygu beef from Australia are also featured on the menu.

"After the success of the new Steakhouse menu onboard Queen Mary 2 last summer, our team has decided to take the concept across the fleet," said Josh Leibowitz, Senior Vice President, Cunard North America. "We welcome guests to join us at the new Steakhouse at The Verandah concept for the very best steakhouse at sea."

In addition to the new menu, a new selection of craft cocktails will be available at The Verandah bar, reflecting contemporary mixology trends from some of the world's most dynamic cities. The wine selection has also been specifically chosen to focus on 'steak heroes' and features classis peppery Syrahs alongside more contemporary juicy Malbecs and rich Chardonnays.

Steakhouse at The Verandah will be open for lunch and dinner for a $25.00 USD per person cost for lunch and a $39.00 USD per person cost for dinner, with some menu offerings requiring a further supplement. Dinner reservations are pre-bookable on Cunard's Voyage Personaliser or once on board, and lunch reservations are available once on board.

Steakhouse at The Verandah is open on sea days for lunch from 12pm until 1:30pm and for dinner from 6:30pm until 9pm.

Norwegian Gem to Traverse Panama Canal for the First Time
Last week, Norwegian Gem embarked on her first Panama Canal cruise, calling to 10 new ports and debuting on the West Coast when she concludes her itinerary in Los Angeles.

On Jan. 10, Norwegian Gem will be the 10th ship of the modern Norwegian Cruise Line fleet to cross the Panama Canal, visiting 10 new port cities during that sailing.

Among the new ports Norwegian Gem is sailing this season are Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Willemstad, Curacao; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Los Angeles; Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; and Corinto, Nicaragua.

“We are very excited to showcase another one of our incredible ships on the West Coast, offering guests there a chance to experience our fleet and enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with cruising Norwegian,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Norwegian Gem is the final ship of the Jewel Class. She welcomes over 2,300 guests each sailing and features one of the largest suites in the fleet, the Garden Villas. These suites are over 4,000 square feet and sleep up to eight guests. They include three spacious bedrooms, a living room and a private garden with a hot tub. The ship is also home to a kid’s aqua park, a climbing wall, an expansive casino, over 15 dining options and 14 bars and lounges.

Carnival Corporation's OceanMedallion Named IoT Wearables Innovation of the Year
Carnival Corporation today announced its revolutionary OceanMedallion, the wearable device that powers the breakthrough guest experience platform behind MedallionClass vacations, has been awarded the 2019 IoT Wearables Innovation of the Year by IoT Breakthrough as part of the independent organization's 2019 IoT Breakthrough Awards program.

The IoT Breakthrough Awards recognize innovative technologies and exemplary companies that are driving innovation in the internet of things (IoT) market around the world. This year's program attracted more than 3,500 nominations globally in a range of IoT categories, including industrial and enterprise IoT, smart city, connected home and home automation, connected car and more. All award nominations were evaluated by an independent panel of IoT industry experts, with the highest scored nominee being named the winner in each category. Additional 2019 winners include Samsung Electronics, GE Appliances, Dell Technologies, Toshiba and Sony.

"Carnival Corporation is the first non-traditional technology company that we've recognized with one of our IoT Breakthrough Awards, and it's well-deserved because of the significant innovation it has created," said James Johnson, managing director at IoT Breakthrough. "We are thrilled to recognize Carnival Corporation with the 2019 IoT Wearables Innovation of the Year award for the way the OceanMedallion is already transforming the vacation experience and the very high bar it has set for how IoT will be delivered to mainstream society in coming years."

Originally unveiled by Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, at CES 2017, the Medallion device persistently connects a cruise guest's unique digital identity with an intelligent shipboard Experience Internet of Things (xIoT) ecosystem to enhance guest-crew interactions and deliver a high level of personalized service on a large scale. The device enables all aspects of an elevated guest vacation including hassle-free payment, keyless and personalized stateroom access, frictionless embarkation, on-demand services and more.

The award is the third prestigious recognition Carnival Corporation's patented IoT innovations have received in the past three months. In November, CES recognized the company as a CES 2019 Innovations Award Honoree for OceanMedallion. In December, the company received a 2018 Gold New York Design Award for Digital IoT for its Ocean guest experience platform.

"It's an absolute honor to have OceanMedallion selected by IoT Breakthrough as the IoT Wearables Innovation of the Year and to have Carnival Corporation be considered among some of the most well-respected and game-changing companies in the world," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "This is the third award in three months for our Ocean innovations, and while the accolades are gratifying, our greatest joy is seeing more than 99 percent of our guests adopting the Medallion technology to enhance their overall cruise experience, and the considerable excitement they have for the portfolio of new capabilities."

OceanMedallion and the company's xIoT guest experience platform currently are transforming vacations for guests sailing on Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess from Princess Cruises, the world's largest international premium cruise line and one of Carnival Corporation's nine cruise line brands. Guests are enjoying an extensive portfolio of OceanMedallion-enabled features, specifically designed to enhance the vacation experience, including:

• Keyless Stateroom Entry: Access to stateroom becomes a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated and the door automatically unlocks, with personalized greetings and loyalty level recognition on the welcome portal.

• OceanNow: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to place a food or drink order and have it delivered directly to them in food and beverage locations throughout the ship.

• MedallionPay: An easy-to-use payment experience, enabling crew members to focus on guest interactions.

• Ocean Casino: On smart devices and select portals, guests can wager real money on a portfolio of games, including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.

• OceanCompass: Leverages the Ocean Medallion to enable point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship. Ocean Compass guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest.

• JourneyView: On portals throughout the ship, guests can access a real-time look at their itinerary, along with events and activities taking place during their cruise.

• OceanView: Guests can stream more than 100 hours of award-winning Ocean Original travel content – which airs nationally on weekends on ABC and NBC – to their smart device anywhere on the ship at no cost.

• PlayOcean: On portals located shipwide, guests are able to play family games, including trivia, word jumble, a matching game and Ocean Treks Adventure – an interactive, shipwide digital scavenger hunt.

It Pays to Be Picky: January 2019 Cruise Prices Drop by Up to 31%
Fancy escaping the harsh winter with a lush tropical cruise getaway? Good news: prices for many cruises in January 2019 are significantly lower than they were a year ago. However, there are major differences by cruise line.

While the analysis found that the average cruise price per day actually increased by around 3% - from $397 to $407 per person per night - it also showed substantial price discounts for certain cruise lines.

Disney Cruise Line is among the cruise lines offering cabins at significantly cheaper rates as compared to the same time last year. Whereas a customer had to pay $317 per day for a January 2018 cruise if booked by late November 2017, for the same period one year later there are cabins available at $220 per day - a whopping 31% less.

Some luxury lines are also offering significant savings compared to January 2018. Regent Seven Seas is offering cabins for just shy of 30% off last year's prices, while even Seabourn offers 25% lower prices than the same time last year.

In the mainstream cruise market, Costa Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Holland America Line are offering between 5 and 18% savings compared to last year on individual available cabins, whereas Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean remain at virtually at the same level of deals. Carnival Cruises actually offers fewer bargain cabins available at an average increase of 7%.

Some premium and luxury lines increasing prices by up to 60% compared to last year

Crystal Cruises and Windstar are both offering roughly price reductions of around 10%, but not all premium and luxury cruise lines are offering discounts. Oceania is maintaining stable prices, and Azamara Club Cruises and Cunard are both offering January prices at around a 10% price increase.

Silversea Cruises, Ponant, and Viking Cruises all seem to have a higher occupancy demand, meaning that all three lines have increased prices this year, Silversea and Ponant by over 20% and Viking by a massive 60%.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 50.64 + 2.72%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 101.83 + 4.13%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.52 + 5.56%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 43.71 + 3.11%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
The decorative doors of the classic French liner Normandie's Grand Foyer survived the ship's fire and sinking. Where can you see those doors today?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - The ship would be the SANTA PAULA which was built in 1958 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. for the Grace Line of NY. She ended her days as a hotel in Kuwait City eventually being destroyed there by the retreating Iraqis after during the Gulf War.

Her sister was the SANTA ROSA which went on to become the EMERALD owned by Louis Cruises but operated by Thompson Holidays.
courtesy of M. Dunatov


Cruise News - December 31, 2018

Carnival Cruise Line To Begin Charging For Room Service
Carnival Cruise Line announced this week that it will begin charging for individual room service items starting mid-January. Continental breakfast will remain the only complimentary offering. Carnival had been one of the last of the major cruise lines to offer all-free room service.

"Starting mid-January 2019, Carnival Cruise Line will be shifting to an a la carte stateroom service menu fleetwide," a Carnival spokesperson said. "A wide variety of menu items will be available with a nominal cost ranging from $2 to $5 per item. Charges apply to lunch, dinner and late-night menu items while Continental breakfast will continue to be offered free of charge."

Pricing will range from $2 or $3 for a salad (add chicken for an extra $2) to pan pizzas, wings and cheesesteaks for $4 to $6. Other items include sandwiches ($4) and fries ($2 to $3).

Carnival said the decision to begin charging was based in part on finding ways to reduce food waste; by requiring people to pay per item, cruisers might be less inclined to order food they might not actually eat. The line also emphasized that it still offers plenty of complimentary food venues on its ships.

"Over the last several years, we have heavily invested in bringing more variety to our complimentary food choices across our fleet, while at the same time trying to find effective means to continue to reduce food waste," according to a cruise line statement.

Celebrity Cruises’ Announces 2020-21 North American Season Itinearies
Celebrity Cruises’ 2020-21 season will be the brand’s most expansive yet, offering travelers more destinations to uncover and time to explore the wonders of North America. Travelers will have the opportunity to sail on newly modernized ships as the brand continues to invest in luxuriously redesigned accommodations, refreshing spaces, and custom experiences across its fleet as part of THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION.

From Alaska and the Pacific Coast to Canada and the Atlantic, no matter which award-winning ship travelers choose, fantastic itineraries, in-depth excursions and spectacular tours will bring them closer to the majesty of North America than ever imagined.

Modernized and eager to travel, Celebrity Summit will kick off her North American season of sailings with a completely new program. She’ll expand her itineraries to visit 19 destinations and 7 countries – both marking new milestones – and bring travelers to Greenland for the first time, along with a Statue of Liberty experience. She’ll stay for more than 10 hours in port at a record 56 stops, docking in 39 of those ports for more than 12 hours. Travelers have never had so many choices and chances to explore beyond her decks.

New 10-night cruises will start the summer, bringing travelers south to historic Charleston, S.C. and to the British charm of Bermuda – the perfect warm-weather escape. Another seven-night itinerary to Bermuda will include a new stop in Newport, R.I., and an up-close experience with Lady Liberty herself as the ship circles Liberty Island and sails out on her way to the pink sands of Bermuda. As one of the most popular tourist sites in the United States, the Statue of Liberty is a definite must-see – and from the top decks of Celebrity Summit, the views are exceptional.

In August, Celebrity Summit will offer new opportunities to travel between North America and Europe with two, 14-night sailings from Cape Liberty to Dublin and then from Dublin to Boston. Travelers will experience new ports of Prins Christian Sund and Qaqortoq, Greenland, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience where floating icebergs and frolicking whales will mystify guests in the arctic Riviera.

Following these exciting summer sailings, Celebrity Summit will settle in Boston, her new homeport, and offer 12-night Canada and New England itineraries for the fall season.

Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice will return to Alaska once again for another season in The Last Frontier. Together they will visit 12 Canadian and U.S. destinations and spend more time in these ports than ever before.

Aboard Celebrity Eclipse, travelers will sail seven-night, round-trip cruises from Vancouver and journey through the Inside Passage, visiting Icy Straight Point, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Adventurers can also book an in-depth Canadian Rockies Cruise tour and journey through the Rocky Mountains on a pre- or post-cruise land tour.

Celebrity Millennium will offer two, seven-night Alaska itineraries – one northbound from Vancouver, British Columbia, the other southbound from Seward, Alaska. Both itineraries feature the Inside Passage and make visits to Ketchikan, Icy Straight Point, Juneau, Skagway, and Hubbard Glacier. Alaska Cruisetours are also available to explore all the way to the iconic Denali National Park in the heart of Alaska or travelers can choose an in-depth Canadian Rockies Cruise tour.

The first Solstice Class ship to ever sail in Alaska, Celebrity Solstice offers seven-night, round-trip adventures from Seattle, bringing passengers to Ketchikan, Endicott Arms & Dawes Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, the Inside Passage, and Victoria, British Columbia.

The updated, Celebrity Eclipse will also cruise up and down North America’s Pacific coast in style. While at sea, from San Diego to Vancouver, her Canyon Ranch Spa, diverse and delectable dining options, serene Solarium, and sparkling waterfalls onboard will delight guests.

While journeying from the sun-soaked beaches of Southern California to the rich, green rainforests of British Columbia, Canada, travelers will embark on a vacation like no other. Cruisetours will include chances to discover the delicious wines of Washington state, stroll the stunning gardens of Vancouver, and explore and eat through San Francisco’s world-class dining scene with a special overnight in the iconic city.

Carnival Triumph Provides Seaside Assistance to Sailboat in Need

We’ve all called on roadside assistance to come to our rescue, but how about seaside assistance?

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, as the ship was at sea, Carnival Triumph responded to a request from a sailboat in the vicinity that was in need of oil.

Keeping with maritime tradition and looking to provide a helpful hand, Carnival Triumph approached the vessel to assist as the sailors gleefully shouted, “Thank you, Carnival!”

Captain Isidoro Renda and his team offered the sailors oil for their engine allowing them to successfully continue along their journey.

Carnival Triumph was on a five-day Western Caribbean cruise that returned to her homeport of New Orleans today

Guest Celebrates 100th Birthday Aboard Norwegian Epic Amid 4,100 New Friends
Last Saturday evening, Norwegian Epic hosted a centennial birthday for guest Rose Zelman, during her 32nd voyage with the cruise line.

Following an exclusive dinner with the captain at Cirque Dreams Epicurean, the ship's signature acrobatic production, she was invited on stage and presented with a larger-than-life cake to commemorate her milestone birthday among all of her new friends, some of the 4,100 passengers aboard the vessel. As balloons dropped from the stage, the captain, crew, performers and audience all joined in to sing happy birthday.

A native New Yorker, Ms. Zelman traveled the globe with her husband Bob, but never on a cruise. After his passing in 2001, she met and became friends with Omar O'Besso, who later joined Norwegian Cruise Line as an on-board concierge. In 2005, he convinced her to begin cruising and she embarked on her first voyage, where she learned a new way to travel and see the world.

Since then, Ms. Zelman has cruised three times a year on ships where O'Besso is sailing, celebrated eight birthdays at sea, and visited destinations including Alaska, the Mediterranean and Europe. Currently she is enjoying back-to-back cruises to the Caribbean on Norwegian Epic from Port Canaveral.

"Cruising is my favorite way to vacation" said Rose Zelman. "It is hassle-free with so much to do on board from entertainment to activities. I have the chance to meet new people an can explore new destinations with ease, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and even Russia. I was so happy and thankful to celebrate my 100th birthday with my friend Omar and the Captain, crew and my new friends on Norwegian Epic, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the cruise and sailing into 2019."

Norwegian Epic is currently offering seven to eleven-day voyages to the Caribbean from Port Canaveral, before returning to Europe in April for a summer season of Mediterranean cruises.

Top Tips for Choosing a Cruise During Upcoming Peak Booking Period
Cruises are a popular vacation option for travelers and January to March is one of the best times to book a cruise. With nearly 50 percent of all cruises booked during this period, known as wave season, the cruise lines ramp up their marketing and promotions to entice potential passengers.

Whether it's for a cruise in the sunny Caribbean or breathtaking Alaska, historical Europe or South America -- many of the industry's most-respected brands feature some of their best offers during wave season. This includes all types of cruising experiences, ranging from deep water ocean vessels to small luxury ships and river cruises.

The period from January through March has traditionally been known as "wave season," the time of year when cruise lines roll out their biggest deals and most enticing perks, in hopes of filling up staterooms for the coming season. Here are some tips that help travelers narrow their cruise choices so they can take advantage of special wave season offers.

What type of ship is best. Large, oceangoing vessels that travel to the Caribbean and Alaska are like floating cities, with lots of choices for dining, activities and entertainment. They're great for families with children. River cruises, like the ones that ply Europe's waterways, are smaller ships and provide a more intimate experience. They can travel close to the center of cities and towns. Onboard activities emphasize the cuisine, history and culture of the destinations.

Culinary adventures. These cruises make sure the food is as appealing as the destinations. With innovative partnerships with well-known chefs and culinary experts, the cruise lines offer a way to immerse oneself and deepen one's understanding of a region by taking a journey that feeds the senses with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of local and authentic flavors. Expanded onboard cuisine options to shore excursions will often focus on flavorful, regional ingredients, cooking styles, demonstrations and tastings.

Journeys that quench thirst. Whether it is aged wines, craft beers or fresh cocktails, many people travel to experience the fine taste of local beverages. Certain cruises offer an opportunity for tastings and to learn from mixologists, sommeliers or famous brewers either onboard, during shore excursions or both. These cruises provide opportunities to try different selections that bring the rich history and culture of the people alive. Travelers may tap their own beer, blend their own wine, or explore a region rich in the history of the local vineyards.

Expedition cruises for the explorer. For adventurers who would enjoy smaller ships that can travel to more remote destinations, they may love an expedition cruise. These ships, equipped with sturdy, inflatable boats called Zodiacs, take vacationers to the shore for land-based excursions or to spots in the water for activities such as deep-sea snorkeling or diving. Smaller ships also allow passengers to disembark more frequently, often with two or three landings or shore excursions per day for unique sightings and adventures.

Multi-family ocean adventures. Family-oriented cruise lines have ships that offer fabulous children's programs that have a mix of fun and educational activities. Some have water slides and roller coasters, bungee jumping and zip lining, as well as art and cooking courses that the whole family can enjoy.

For teens, there are exclusive areas where they can play games, watch movies, learn to be a DJ or just relax. Teens also tend to make good use of the pools and sports facilities with the new friends they meet on board. The kids' clubs and teen lounges are off-limits to adults, but there are lots of other spaces for the mature members of the group to enjoy, including the ship's fitness center, spa, theaters, lounges and casino. Most ships also have adults-only spaces.

Additional price savings and travel tips. When travelers are flexible on travel dates, they may find it is less expensive to sail on one date versus another. Additional savings can also be found on airfare. While it's not always feasible depending on the destination, one can save even more by leaving from a port close to home. For those traveling long distance, it is always advisable to arrive to the port city at least a day before the ship sails. This gives vacationers a chance to explore the port before departing, and also relieves the stress and worry should they experience flight delays or even misplaced luggage -- all of which can add to the expense of the trip.

Whether one is a veteran cruise passenger thinking about that next trip, or a traveler who has always wanted to go on one, now is the time to start planning a voyage for 2019.

Carnival Cruise AirShip Takes Flight
Kicking off a year-long celebration welcoming the new Carnival Panorama to the West Coast, Carnival Cruise Line is going to extreme heights today ­– literally – as its popular Carnival AirShip makes its aerial debut in Southern California.

Inviting everyone to "Choose Fun," the 120-foot-long AirShip will fly over and visit culture and entertainment locations across the state throughout January including The Rose Parade: A Showcase of Floats on Jan. 2 as well as sporting events; local schools; Carnival's homeports in Long Beach on Jan. 5, San Diego on Jan. 13 and San Francisco on Jan. 25; travel agent viewing parties; and select Sky Zone trampoline park locations, Carnival Panorama's newest all-ages attraction, starting with the Anaheim location on Jan 11.

In conjunction with the AirShip's California tour, consumers have a chance to win a free cruise as well as additional prizes each week throughout the month of January that give them a taste of Carnival fun when they enter the AirShip Sweepstakes at carnival.com/choosefun.

The AirShip also creates the opportunity to raise money for a great cause. For anyone who takes a picture of the AirShip and posts it on social media with the hashtag #ChooseFun, Carnival will make a $2 donation to its longtime charity partner St. Jude Children's Research Hospital up to a maximum donation of $20,000.

This past summer, the AirShip made its inaugural journey in the southeast U.S. to celebrate the arrival of new ships in multiple homeports. It proved to be popular on social and news media channels as well as with thousands of cruise fans who posted photos on their own social media platforms.

"The Carnival AirShip was so well received when she debuted earlier this year, and we're delighted to bring her back to the West Coast to kick start our year-long celebration of Carnival Panorama. It's officially go-time!" said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Carnival is the number one cruise line from Southern California. Our AirShip is a great way to let everyone know about the many exciting choices for guests to Choose Fun from the West Coast."

Carnival Panorama will debut with a special three-day inaugural cruise from Long Beach on Dec. 11, 2019, followed by the launch of year-round, seven-day Mexican Riviera sailings on Dec. 14, 2019. The ship joins Carnival Imagination and Carnival Inspiration to carry upwards of 600,000 guests annually from the West Coast – more than any other cruise operator.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 49.30 + 6.69%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 97.79 + 9.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.44 + 7.46%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 42.39 + 7.18%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
What was the name given to the popular transatlantic route between New York, Algeciras, Naples, Genoa and Cannes and what ships were best known for making this trip?

Answer - The southern transatlantic route to the Mediterranean was popularly called the "Sun-Lane Route". The last two ships to regularly run that trade were American Export Line's incomparable INDEPENDENCE and CONSTITUTION. They are also the most famous ships to have operated in that trade.
courtesy of Frank X. Prudent


Cruise News - December 24, 2018

Cunard Unveils First Full Season of Alaska Voyages in 2020
Cunard today announced that it will spend a full season in Alaska from June through September in 2020 on newly-refit Queen Elizabeth. Cunard is making its grand return to Alaska in May 2019 – and due to high demand, the line will double their program in 2020.

This expanded program will offer ten roundtrip voyages out of Vancouver ranging from nine to twelve nights and one getaway cruise to San Francisco for an overnight stay on Independence Day. Guests will have the opportunity to take in the breathtaking beauty of Alaska with the iconic experience of sailing on a Cunard ship.

"We are so excited to offer an extended season in Alaska on Queen Elizabeth in 2020," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Due to strong demand and passenger feedback, Cunard has more than doubled its voyages in Alaska, visiting the most incredible cities with longer time in port to enjoy this inspiring destination."

Each Alaska voyage will feature fascinating destinations along the Pacific Northwest coast of Alaska and British Columbia with longer time in port including Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka and more. In addition, the voyages offer awe-inspiring scenic cruising in the narrow waterways of the Inside Passage, the Hubbard Glacier and Sawyer Glacier's twin fjords, Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm.

Passengers have the opportunity to combine voyages together, including the Alaska roundtrips, Independence Day cruise and the North Pacific Crossings from Yokohama or to Tokyo. These 2020 voyages include:

• Alaska Voyage, roundtrip from Vancouver, 10 nights from June 2-12, 2019 (Q017),

• Independence Day Celebration, Vancouver to San Francisco with an overnight in port, 3 nights from July 2-5 (Q020A),

• San Francisco to Vancouver, 16 nights from July 5-21 (Q020D),

• Vancouver to Tokyo, 29 nights from August 29-September 28 (Q026A),

Queen Elizabeth, the youngest ship in the fleet, has just come out of refit this November, launching a new spa concept onboard: Mareel Wellness & Beauty, developed in partnership with industry innovator Canyon Ranch. The new brand will offer a holistic approach with a focus on the healing energy of the sea. The spa offers an extensive new treatment menu with mineral-rich seawater and marine-based experiences as well as a redesign of the entire spa facility. In addition, many public spaces, bars and lounges have been updated and all Grill Suites and Britannia Staterooms have new carpets and soft furnishings. The Royal Court Theatre had a complete technical overhaul; the Royal Arcade has been enhanced to offer an elevated shopping experience; and the outdoor decks have new furniture with a new layout on the Sun Deck.

Cunard continues its partnership with Rocky Mountaineer, offering pre- and post-cruise tours on the famous railroad. Tours include either three- to five-nights' accommodation, plus two full days aboard the train. The expedition travels through a spectacular array of scenery with glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, through winding river canyons, mountain passes and remarkable tunnels. Highlights include the Continental Divide, Kicking Horse Canyon, Spiral Tunnels and the rushing waters of Hell's Gate in the Fraser Canyon.

Guests will also be able to take advantage of the three-night pre-cruise tour Vancouver and Whistler Highlights, taking in the best of Vancouver including Grouse Mountain and Stanley Park, and a full day in Whistler and Shannon Falls via the Sea-to-Sky Corridor.

Six Holland America Line Ships Set to Explore Europe in 2020
Guests looking to explore the fjords of Norway, castles of the British Isles, flavors of Italy and beaches of Greece can choose from six Holland America Line ships to discover a wide range of ports and regions on cruise itineraries for the 2020 Europe season. Anchored by the return of Nieuw Amsterdam to the Mediterranean, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, Veendam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam will offer cruises from March through early November.

In addition to transatlantic crossings to and from Europe, the ships will span the entire region on itineraries from seven to 35 days, including the Baltic; British Isles; French and Spanish rivieras; Iberian Peninsula; Iceland; the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, including Norway and the North Cape. Istanbul, Turkey, is back on the schedule with seven overnight visits, and Veendam will offer several distinct and unique European itineraries.

"European cruises are incredibly popular because they are the most affordable and convenient way to visit more cities and countries in one seamless vacation," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "With an expanded season and six ships offering itineraries that cover the entire region, our guests have a wide selection of cruises that showcase the best of each country with the most enriching and immersive experiences."

Roundtrip sailing options from a variety of port cities make for a convenient cruise vacation. Guests can embark at Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Boston, Massachusetts; Civitavecchia (Rome) and Venice, Italy; Barcelona, Spain; and Copenhagen, Denmark. Cruises also sail between Barcelona, Spain, and Venice or Civitavecchia.

To offer more in-depth experiences in some of Europe's most popular cities, Holland America Line has scheduled overnight calls at 13 ports, including Antwerp, Belgium; Amsterdam; Barcelona; Dublin, Ireland; Funchal, Madeira; Istanbul; Lisbon, Portugal; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Reykjavik, Iceland; South Queensferry (Edinburgh), Scotland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Venice; and Valletta, Malta.

Nearly every cruise can be combined with the nonrepeating itinerary coming before and after, allowing guests to see more of Europe with a Holland America Line Collectors' Voyage. Ranging from 14 to 35 days, these artfully crafted longer journeys offer extra time so guests can discover the art, history and culture of different regions in Europe.

Due to strong demand, three ships will offer cruises in Northern Europe from April through September, giving travelers more ways to explore the Norwegian fjords. Nieuw Statendam, Holland America Line's newest ship, will return to Northern Europe on seven- and 14-day roundtrip cruises from Amsterdam, while Rotterdam sails seven- and 14-day roundtrip cruises from Rotterdam. Veendam's roundtrip Amsterdam itineraries allow for a more in-depth exploration of the region, with itineraries ranging from 14 to 21 days in length.

The ships will take guests to the most stunning fjords in Norway including Geirangerfjord, Hardangerfjord, Olsofjord, Eidfjord, Liefdefdfjord, Lilliehöökfjord, Trondheimsfjord and Sognefjord.

When not in Norway, Nieuw Statendam will cruise the Baltic, the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean; Rotterdam will visit the Baltic, British Isles and Iberia; and Veendam will feature memorable cruises to the Baltic, British Isles, Iceland, Iberia and the Holy Land.

In 2020 Zaandam sets sail on the epic 35-day Voyage of the Vikings roundtrip Boston cruise departing July 18. The legendary journey calls at 18 ports in the U.S., Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands and Ireland, making it easy to visit Europe without international air. Two shorter segments from Boston to Amsterdam (17 days) or from Amsterdam to Boston (18 days) are available.

Holland America Line's Mediterranean cruises are anchored by Nieuw Amsterdam in 2020, which will spend a full season in the region. The ship will offer the popular 12-day Mediterranean Romance, Mediterranean Tapestry and Mediterranean Empires cruises to Greece, Turkey and Italy roundtrip from Venice or between Venice and Barcelona or Civitavecchia (Rome), as well as the 12-day Adriatic Dream and Greek Odyssey itineraries between Venice and Civitavecchia.

Nieuw Amsterdam will be joined by Zuiderdam from May through June on 12-day itineraries, followed by Nieuw Statendam and Veendam in September and October on cruises ranging from 10 to 14 days. Zuiderdam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Veendam all feature overnight calls to Istanbul and a combined 14 overnights at Venice.

Veendam's season spans April through October and features longer European explorations from 14 to 21 days to a variety of regions. In addition to Norway, highlights of the ship's summer include a European Rivers Explorer cruise to the Scheldt River, Gironde Estuary and Tagus River; the "Holy Land" itinerary to Greece, Croatia, Turkey and Israel; and cruises to Spitsbergen and Iceland.

Guests who enjoy leisurely sea days combined with enriching ports of call have a 19-Day Viking Passage cruise in August and several transatlantic crossings between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Northern Europe or the Mediterranean in the spring and fall. Ranging from 13 to 17 days, the transatlantic cruises feature six or seven consecutive days at sea, where the ships become the destination.

Travelers looking to take in the beauty of the North Atlantic in peak summer can embark Zuiderdam's Viking Passage itinerary from Copenhagen to New York, New York. The ship visits some of the most picturesque ports in Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Canada, retracing the route the Vikings sailed centuries ago.

Carnival Corporation & plc Reports Fourth Quarter And Record Full Year Earnings
Carnival Corporation announced U.S. GAAP net income for the full year 2018 of $3.2 billion, or $4.44 diluted EPS, compared to $2.6 billion, or $3.59 diluted EPS, for the prior year. Full year 2018 adjusted net income of $3.0 billion, or $4.26 adjusted EPS, was higher than adjusted net income of $2.8 billion, or $3.82 adjusted EPS, for the full year 2017. Adjusted net income excludes for the full year 2018 unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net gains, totaling $123 million in net gains and for the full year 2017 unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives of $227 million in net gains and impairments and other net charges of $390 million. Revenues for the full year 2018 were $18.9 billion, $1.4 billion higher than the $17.5 billion in the prior year.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We delivered strong fourth quarter earnings and record adjusted fourth quarter earnings to top off a record breaking year. In 2018, we grew net cruise revenue (constant currency) over five percent, achieving the highest revenue yields (constant currency) in our company's history, and producing double-digit adjusted earnings growth despite a significant drag from fuel and currency. More importantly, we achieved double-digit return on invested capital in line with the target we established five years ago. I thank our 120,000 team members around the globe who encountered multiple headwinds and still delivered for our shareholders a more than doubling of return on invested capital in just five years, as well as our valued travel agent partners whose strong support enabled these record results."

Key information for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the fourth quarter of 2017:

• U.S. GAAP net income for 4Q 2018 of $494 million, or $0.71 diluted EPS, compared to $546 million or $0.76 diluted EPS, for the prior year. On an adjusted basis, 4Q 2018 net income of $492 million, or $0.70 EPS, compared to net income of $452 million, or $0.63 EPS, for the prior year. Adjusted net income excludes unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net charges, totaling $2 million in net gains for 4Q 2018 and $94 million of net gains for 4Q 2017.

• Gross cruise revenues for 4Q 2018 of $4.4 billion compared to $4.2 billion for the prior year, an increase of 4.3 percent. In constant currency, net cruise revenues of $3.7 billion compared to $3.5 billion, an increase of 6.1 percent.

• Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 1.9 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 3.7 percent for 4Q 2018, better than September guidance of up 1.5 to 2.5 percent.

• Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 2.4 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD decreased 0.5 percent, compared to September guidance of down 1.0 to 2.0 percent.

• Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates decreased earnings by $0.13 per share.

Highlights during the fourth quarter included the delivery of Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam in November 2018. The company acquired a minority interest in CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited, a China-based cruise company which will operate its own fleet designed to serve the Chinese market. In connection with the acquisition, Costa Cruises announced the sale to the joint venture of Costa Atlantica, which will leave the fleet by the end of 2019, followed by Costa Mediterranea at a later date. Carnival Cruise Line announced a dry dock that will transform Carnival Victory to Carnival Radiance, representing the final phase of an extensive fleet enhancement program. Also during the quarter, the company's CSMART Academy was recognized for excellence in maritime safety training by SAFETY4SEA, further validating the company's commitment to safety as its top priority.

2019 Outlook

At this time, cumulative advance bookings for full year 2019 are considerably ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line with the prior year. Pricing on bookings taken since September has been running in line on a comparable basis to the prior year while booking volumes are significantly higher compared to the prior year. As a result, even with higher capacity, there is less inventory remaining for sale than at the same time last year.

Donald commented, "Based on continued strength in underlying fundamentals, we are poised to deliver another year of strong revenue and earnings growth, with booking volumes running significantly ahead of our higher capacity growth and net revenue yields expected to exceed last year's record levels (constant currency). We remain committed to driving demand in excess of measured capacity growth to continue the momentum into 2019 and beyond."

Based on current booking trends, the company expects full year 2019 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 5.5 percent, with capacity growth of 4.6 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be up approximately 1.0 percent compared to the prior year. The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 0.5 percent compared to the prior year. Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by $0.14 per share compared to the prior year. Voyage cancellations due to the delayed delivery of AIDAnova have impacted 2019 earnings by $0.04 per share.

Taking the above factors into consideration, the company expects full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.50 to $4.80, compared to 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $4.26.

Donald added, "Based on the foundation we have put in place we are well positioned to continue to drive shareholder returns as we execute along a path toward growing earnings and return on invested capital over time. We remain committed to the continued distribution of cash to shareholders through increasing dividends, currently totaling $1.4 billion annually, and opportunistic share repurchases, which have reached $4.6 billion since late 2015."

First Quarter 2019 Outlook

First quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be flat with the prior year. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the first quarter of 2019 are expected to increase by approximately 2.0 percent compared to the prior year. Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and changes in currency exchange rates compared to prior year are expected to decrease earnings by $0.03 per share. Based on the above factors, the company expects adjusted earnings per share for the first quarter 2019 to be in the range of $0.40 to $0.44 versus 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $0.52.

AIDAnova Makes Maiden Call in the Canary Islands as World's First Cruise Vessel Powered by LNG
Carnival Corporation yesterday celebrated the start of its operation of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Cruise Terminal in the Canary Islands with the maiden call of AIDAnova. The newest ship from Carnival Corporation's AIDA Cruises brand, Germany's leading cruise line, AIDAnova is the world's first cruise vessel to be powered at sea and in port by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel.

In advance of today's celebration, Carnival Corporation recently announced an agreement with the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife to be the first concession-holder to operate the Canary Islands' and Mid Atlantic´s newest cruise terminal.

Directly following the arrival of AIDAnova on the afternoon of Dec. 18, AIDA Cruises' president, Felix Eichhorn, welcomed Fernando Clavijo Batlle, president of the Canary Islands, and Pedro Suárez López de Vergara, president of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife as one of the first guests on board to participate in the cruise industry's traditional plaque exchange, marking a ship's first visit to a port.

"We are looking forward to a successful premiere season in the Canary Islands," said Eichhorn. "AIDAnova is a milestone for our company and the entire cruise industry by offering entirely new vacation experiences. With our new ship, we will contribute to further economic growth of the local tourism and maritime industry. With an extraordinary variety of individual vacation options on board and ashore, we are providing new and exciting reasons for people to enjoy a cruise vacation, one of the vacation industry's fastest-growing sectors. Furthermore, with our pioneering LNG technology, we start a new era of even more environmentally friendly cruising."

The new Santa Cruz de Tenerife Cruise Terminal concession in the Canary Islands operated by Carnival Corporation offers passengers a comfortable experience and modern conveniences, and can accommodate next-generation "green" cruise ships powered by LNG, including AIDAnova. The first LNG supply for AIDAnova at the port took place upon its arrival, made possible by a supply agreement signed in 2016 between Carnival Corporation and Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell) to contribute to a robust and reliable LNG fuel supply chain.

"We at Carnival Corporation are strongly committed to leading the way in the implementation of innovations to help protect the environment and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and we are proud to be on the forefront of advancing LNG as a fuel source for the cruise industry," said Tom Strang, senior vice president of maritime affairs for Carnival Corporation. "One of the keys to establishing LNG as an industry standard for powering cruise ships is building an extensive, safe and reliable infrastructure for the fuel across the globe, and we look forward to working closely with Shell to support that effort. The first LNG supply of AIDAnova here in the Canary Islands, only achieved with the active support of the local port authorities, is the start of building a strong foundation for the future of LNG fuel supply for cruise ships across the globe."

In total, following AIDAnova, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships on order that will be powered by LNG in port and at sea, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025, leading the cruise industry's use of LNG to power cruise ships.

"We are proud to be supplying LNG for the world's first LNG-powered cruise ship," said Tahir Faruqui, general manager, Shell global downstream LNG. "This milestone is a further demonstration of our strength in providing the expertise and infrastructure required to encourage greater use of lower emissions fuels in marine transport. Carnival Corporation has led by example and put itself at the forefront of the sector by using LNG. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the industry to demonstrate a robust and reliable LNG fuel supply chain in the years to come."

AIDAnova today welcomed its inaugural guests in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, for the first seven-day holiday cruise around the Canary Islands and Madeira.

Carnival Corporation guests who visit Tenerife can take advantage of a variety of popular shore excursions, including whale and dolphin watching, visiting the historic district of La Laguna – the only UNESCO World Heritage City in the Canary Islands – and exploring natural attractions such as the Gardens of La Orotava Valley, the Anaga Biosphere Reserve or the Mount El Teide in the National Park, home to Spain's highest peak and the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

''We have a long history of working with Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands," said Clavijo. "We appreciate their strong commitment to our great port, city and the Canary Islands, and we are pleased about the new concession in the cruise terminal and the maiden call of AIDAnova, which is already establishing new ground as the first LNG ship. We appreciate the opportunity to work closely with Carnival Corporation and its leading cruise brands, including AIDA Cruises, and we look forward to growing this partnership further in the years to come."

"The arrival of Carnival Corporation and its cruise lines to the port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the materialization of a momentous advancement to bring the city to the port," said Suárez. "The tourist development of Santa Cruz will be possible during the next years thanks to the activity of her port. In this sense, thanks in part to Carnival Corporation ships, the cruise market generated an economic impact to the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the city of Santa Cruz of €24 million ($27.1 million) in the 2018 cruise season, an increase of €6m from the 2017 cruise season."

Suárez continued: "The policy of environmental respect is one of our pillars and the arrival of next-generation 'green' cruise ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) is among the priorities of our roadmap for the next years."

Welcoming 617,987 cruise passengers in 2017, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Canary Islands, the seven-island Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa and Spain, and the first to attract an investment by a major cruise company. The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member, is a very active member of MedCruise, the leading cruise port association worldwide, and it has been a Cruises Atlantic Islands founding member since 1994.

Seven brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises UK – make port calls to Tenerife during the course of the year. Carnival Corporation expects to bring more than 300,000 passenger visits to the port in 2018 – half of all cruise passenger visits – with 130 calls by 31 different ships from the company's cruise line brands.

Carnival Cruise Line To Offer First-Ever Series Of Voyages From San Francisco
Carnival Cruise Line today announced that for the first time, it will offer a series of cruises from San Francisco, with Carnival Miracle operating a diverse schedule that includes four- to 15-day voyages to Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico in 2020.

Following strong reception to a previously announced program from San Diego in 2019, Carnival Miracle will also return to the port for a winter 2020-21 schedule of three- to 15-day voyages.

These deployments further bolster Carnival Cruise Line's position as the West Coast cruise leader, carrying more passengers than any other cruise operator. That number will continue to increase with the debut of Carnival Panorama from Long Beach in December 2019, the first new Carnival ship on the West Coast in 20 years.

With the addition of San Francisco, Carnival operates from 19 North American homeports, providing a convenient and cost-effective means for its guests to get to and from their cruises. Roughly half of the U.S. population is within a five-hour drive of a Carnival homeport.

"Carnival is the number one cruise operator from the West Coast, and these new programs from San Francisco and San Diego, as well as the deployment of the brand new Carnival Panorama from Long Beach, speaks volumes to our confidence in growing this important market," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival's first-ever schedule from San Francisco kicks off March 19, 2020 aboard Carnival Miracle, and will include four-day long weekend voyages to Ensenada departing Thursdays and returning Mondays throughout the spring and summer, as well as five-day and six-day cruises to Ensenada, Catalina Island and San Diego in the spring.

The ship will also offer a summer schedule of 10-day Alaska cruises round-trip from San Francisco featuring a variety of popular destinations throughout the Last Frontier, including Juneau, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point as well as opportunities to visit Sitka and cruise Tracy Arm Fjord. There's also a special one-time 11-day Alaska cruise departing Aug. 9, 2020.

A 15-day Carnival Journeys Hawaii cruise round-trip from San Francisco departs April 16, 2020, calling at awe-inspiring destinations across the Aloha State, including Maui (Kahului), Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, and Kauai, as well as a stop in Ensenada.

Prior to its West Coast deployment, Carnival Miracle will offer a 17-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal transit March 2-19, 2020, calling at Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; and Limon, Costa Rica prior to the Panama Canal transit followed by calls at Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Carnival Journeys cruises offer unique local culinary and entertainment experiences as well as special activities, including a 1980s-themed Throwback Sea Day.

Carnival Miracle will operate a winter schedule of voyages from San Diego beginning Oct. 4, 2020. The program includes convenient three-day getaways to Ensenada, four-day sailings to Ensenada and Catalina Island, and five-day departures that spend two full days in the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas.

Also offered are four 15-day Carnival Journeys Hawaii cruises round-trip from San Diego departing Oct. 16 and Nov. 28, 2020, and Jan. 9 and Feb. 20, 2021. Featured ports include Hilo, Kona, Kauai (Nawiliwili), Maui (Kahului) and Honolulu, as well as stop in Ensenada, providing guests with a variety of landside experiences in this tropical Polynesian paradise.

New Wine Menu Onboard Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises is setting a new standard for the best wine list in the cruise industry with a newly reimagined wine menu, offering nearly 50 percent more selections for a total of 142 wines, the most extensive in the cruise line's history, carefully selected in partnership with Master of Wine and Master Sommelier Doug Frost.

Frost is one of four individuals in the world to hold simultaneously the Master of Wine (MW) and Master Sommelier (MS) titles, achieving his MS in 1991 and MW in 1993. He was the second person in history to complete both exams and 25 years later his is still one of only four people in the world to have achieved both of these remarkable distinctions.

The Princess Cruises beverage team, along with Frost, established a new wine philosophy that centers on exploration, discovery and enrichment. With quality and global diversity in mind, the new wine menu, available in the main dining rooms fleet wide, is also approachable, with 30 percent of the list priced at $39 and under and 66 percent at $49 or less. Descriptions on the list also make it easy for occasional wine drinkers to select. For example, white wines are designated as "refreshing," "light and mild," "fruity and vibrant" and "rich and textured."

"Princess guests have a passion for culinary travel so our goal in creating this new wine menu was to find fascinating wines from some of the memorable destinations Princess visits," said Frost. "This way guests can return from shore and still experience local tastes with exciting wines at all price points. Plus, what better way to celebrate any occasion than with a special bottle of wine that can be shared with friends and loved ones on a cruise."

The new wine list has expanded regional representations from around the world by a staggering 56 percent and adding 42 percent more grape varietals than existed previously. Emerging gems, such as Ao Yun Cabernet Sauvignon from China, along with elites such as Lafite, Petrus, Grange, Masseto and others round out the offerings.

Selections like Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and an opportunity to explore varietals that are noteworthy – like Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon from South Australia and often the exceptional – a Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa, offer guests an unrivaled value. The complete wine list can be found here.

Guests who purchase the Premier Beverage Package benefit from a 25 percent discount off bottles of wine in the main dining room. More information can be found here.

In addition to the new wine menu, Princess Cruises is rolling out six new beverage menus at The Sanctuary, Pool Deck, Wheelhouse Bar, Crooners, Explorer's Lounge and a general menu offering 13 drinks created by Master Mixologist Floyd. And, guests can enjoy 20 new high-end and exotic spirits, some of which reflect the cruise line's exotic destinations, and 17 new international and craft beers, as well as 39 new wines by the glass, also inspired by the cruise line's itineraries.

Speedcast and Carnival Renew Contract
Speedcast International Limited (ASX: SDA), the world's most trusted provider of remote communication and IT solutions, today announced that it has signed a new contract, with multi-year extension options, with Carnival Corporation. Speedcast will provide remote communications and value-added services across the company's global fleet of cruise ships. The three-year material contract is expected to generate 8-9% of expected full year 2019 revenue.

Speedcast has been delivering communications services to over 100 cruise ships across the various Carnival brands since 2013. With this new contract, Carnival increases its investment in communications, with bandwidth delivered to the fleet increased significantly in order to provide its guests with a high-quality internet experience. Speedcast is leveraging 40 satellites, including High Throughput Satellites (HTS), across C-band, Ku-band and Ka-band spectrums and 20 teleports to deliver the largest dedicated maritime satellite network in the world.

The connectivity experience is managed and enhanced by a unique and innovative centrally-orchestrated intelligent automation system called Speedcast TrueBeam. Speedcast TrueBeam is the result of a four-year development program at Speedcast, and is being launched operationally for the first time. TrueBeam gives ships anywhere in the world the ability to seamlessly maintain communications, even while moving in and out of a satellite beam's coverage area. The system incorporates intelligence that understands, predicts and mitigates known satellite communication challenges, such as rain fade, line of sight blockage and network congestion. TrueBeam is critical when using the small beams of HTS, which can require multiple beam switches per day. The TrueBeam system analyzes network availability, capacity, bands, and other key data points across networks and is able to make intelligent decisions without manual interaction. It is the first system of its kind that is able to centralize the planning and switching of a remote network of this size and scale.

Speedcast's services also include an extensive global terrestrial backhaul network to carry data traffic to the internet and back to Carnival's key operations data centers. Speedcast will also implement the latest network optimization technologies from Xiplink to help enable an enhanced guest experience.

Beyond connectivity, Speedcast will provide an enhanced suite of value-added services including voice services and support for the growing demand for data-rich applications and streaming from personal devices while onboard.

Speedcast's 24/7 Technical Support Centers on five continents, a dedicated service delivery team and over 250 field engineers globally will ensure the operation and maintenance of the network to deliver a high degree of service availability.

"Speedcast is thrilled and proud to continue this partnership with Carnival as its trusted provider for communications," says PJ Beylier, Speedcast CEO. "I would like to thank the entire Carnival team for their trust and look forward to continuously raising the bar together with Carnival to deliver an industry-leading communications guest experience in the cruise industry, just as we did earlier in the year delivering world record-setting bandwidth to the Carnival Horizon. The continuation of our partnership with Carnival, following a very competitive process, is a testament to Speedcast's unique capabilities, demonstrates our ability to innovate and adapt to fast-evolving customer needs and is confirmation of our leadership position in the cruise sector."

"Carnival Corporation looks forward to continuing our relationship with Speedcast to enable industry-leading connectivity onboard our ships to enhance the guest experience beyond what we are offering today," says Reza Rasoulian, VP of Global Connectivity for Carnival.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 46.21 - 17.98%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 89.48 - 15.86%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.34 + 6.35%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 39.55 - 16.10%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name given to the popular transatlantic route between New York, Algeciras, Naples, Genoa and Cannes and what ships were best known for making this trip?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship received special permission to fly the flag of the United Nations in honor of the over 25 nationalities represented in her crew?

Answer - The former cruise ship was Norwegian Cruise Line's Norway.
courtesy of Bruce A. McKenzie, Guam USA


Cruise News - December 17, 2018

Carnival Mardi Gras To Offer First-Ever Roller Coaster At Sea
Get ready to ride! In another cruise industry first, Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras will feature the first-ever roller coaster at sea when it debuts in 2020, providing an unforgettable and unique open-air thrill ride on the line's newest and most innovative ship.

Built by Munich-based Maurer Rides, BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster is a heart-pounding rush of adrenaline offering nearly 800 feet of exhilarating twists, turns and drops with riders reaching speeds of nearly 40 miles per hour.

Taking cruise industry innovation to new heights, BOLT is an all-electric roller coaster that allows two riders in a motorcycle-like vehicle to race along a track 187 feet above sea level, enabling guests to experience the sea in an exciting new way with breathtaking 360-degree views.

BOLT begins with an action-packed launch where riders can achieve race car-like levels of acceleration and culminates with a high-powered hair-pin turn around Carnival's iconic funnel. Riders' speeds are posted after the race, and just like land-based roller coasters, guests have their photo taken during the ride for a memorable keepsake. And since guests choose their own speed, each ride is unique.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said that BOLT is the cornerstone of innovations and features being designed for Mardi Gras, which will be the ultimate playground at sea for fun seekers of all ages.

"Mardi Gras will be our most innovative ship ever with some truly special features and attractions, highlighted by BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea," said Duffy. "BOLT will continue the tradition of Carnival providing exciting new ways for our guests to 'Choose Fun.' We are so thrilled to introduce this one-of-a-kind, game-changing, exhilarating attraction – our guests are going to love it!"

Mardi Gras will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla., which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal. Itinerary information will be revealed early next month with additional details about Mardi Gras' groundbreaking features announced throughout the year. A second XL-class ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line's founding.

Holland America Line Announces Grand Opening of Rudi's Sel de Mer Restaurant on Nieuw Statendam
Following the official handover of Nieuw Statendam on Nov. 29, 2018, Holland America Line celebrated the opening of Rudi's Sel de Mer on board Nieuw Statendam with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony. Rudi Sodamin, Holland America Line's world-renowned Master Chef and the venue's namesake, performed the honor of officially opening the venue and welcoming its first guests, an exclusive list that included Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald, Chief Executive Officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK Stein Kruse, Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford and the entire culinary service crew on board the ship.

The popular Sel de Mer restaurant first launched in 2016 on board Koningsdam and was later introduced as a pop-up restaurant on all Holland America Line ships under the name Rudi's Sel de Mer. Following a mid-December 2018 dry dock, Koningsdam's restaurant will then also bear the name Rudi's Sel de Mer.

"Since opening on Koningsdam, Sel de Mer has garnered both guest and industry acclaim, and we're excited to introduce the first restaurant to bear Master Chef Rudi Sodamin's name and commemorate the grand opening as part of the launch celebrations for Nieuw Statendam," said Ashford. "Congratulations to Rudi and his entire team on creating a culinary and experiential masterpiece for our guests."

"When developing the concept of Rudi's Sel de Mer, I aimed to make it one of the finest restaurants at sea that would rival the best French-inspired brasseries in the world, and I am proud of the work that went into making it a success," said Sodamin. "This ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Rudi's Sel de Mer on Nieuw Statendam is a very special memory, and it was an honor to celebrate with everyone. I am very pleased to bring global culinary expertise to the prestigious Holland America Line brand and have my name on the list of chef-branded restaurants in the cruise industry."

Serving a classic selection of French seafood dishes with a contemporary twist, Rudi's Sel de Mer offers an à la carte menu featuring new items as well as popular dishes beloved by guests. Cruisers can select appetizers including Steak Tartare, Rudi's Seafood Tower and the classic Fruits de Mer.

For an entrée, guests can dine on Broiled Lobster Tail, Whole Dover Sole Meunière, Clams au Beurre, Duck Cassoulet, Steak Frites, Soufflé au Fromage and the popular Salt Crust Baked Branzino. The menu also features a daily special and delectable side dishes.

No meal at Rudi's Sel de Mer would be complete without dessert. Choices include Rudi's Face to Face Chocolate, Crêpes Suzette, Apple Tarte Tatin, Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Sauce, Artisanal French Cheese Plate and Rudi's famed Soufflé – a version of the Salzburger Nockerl of his home country, Austria.

An internationally respected food authority, Rudi Sodamin is the most highly decorated chef working on the world's oceans today and is considered among the hospitality industry's most innovative chefs. As Holland America Line's culinary consultant, he is the chairman and driving force behind the line's Culinary Council, a game-changing collaboration of seven world-class chefs guiding the culinary offerings on board and sharing their specialty menu items in all dining venues. He has earned numerous awards for his creative approach and is credited with innovations that continue to improve the standards industry-wide and led the development of fine dining at Holland America Line. Sodamin has authored 13 cookbooks and is a member of the prestigious Academy Culinaire de France, the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France and an honoree member of the noble Club des Chefs des Chefs, whose members cook for presidents, kings and prime ministers.

Chef Rudi is also known as a culinary pop-artist and has created Food Faces art for the exclusive show plates in Rudi's Sel de Mer. Made by Bernardaud, the leading French manufacturer of Limoges porcelain, each plate charger features a different Food Faces image, creating a table setting unlike any found anywhere in the world.

The art mural in Rudi's Sel de Mer has been painted by Chef Sodamin's son, Magnus Sodamin, and is entitled "Luscious Garden." Magnus is a Miami-based emerging artist.

Nieuw Statendam set sail on its Premier Voyage Dec. 5 from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Carnival Cruise Line To Offer First-Ever Series Of Voyages From San Francisco
Carnival Cruise Line today announced that for the first time, it will offer a series of cruises from San Francisco, with Carnival Miracle operating a diverse schedule that includes four- to 15-day voyages to Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico in 2020.

Following strong reception to a previously announced program from San Diego in 2019, Carnival Miracle will also return to the port for a winter 2020-21 schedule of three- to 15-day voyages.

These deployments further bolster Carnival Cruise Line's position as the West Coast cruise leader, carrying more passengers than any other cruise operator. That number will continue to increase with the debut of Carnival Panorama from Long Beach in December 2019, the first new Carnival ship on the West Coast in 20 years.

With the addition of San Francisco, Carnival operates from 19 North American homeports, providing a convenient and cost-effective means for its guests to get to and from their cruises. Roughly half of the U.S. population is within a five-hour drive of a Carnival homeport.

"Carnival is the number one cruise operator from the West Coast, and these new programs from San Francisco and San Diego, as well as the deployment of the brand new Carnival Panorama from Long Beach, speaks volumes to our confidence in growing this important market," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Carnival's first-ever schedule from San Francisco kicks off March 19, 2020 aboard Carnival Miracle, and will include four-day long weekend voyages to Ensenada departing Thursdays and returning Mondays throughout the spring and summer, as well as five-day and six-day cruises to Ensenada, Catalina Island and San Diego in the spring.

The ship will also offer a summer schedule of 10-day Alaska cruises round-trip from San Francisco featuring a variety of popular destinations throughout the Last Frontier, including Juneau, Skagway, and Icy Strait Point as well as opportunities to visit Sitka and cruise Tracy Arm Fjord. There's also a special one-time 11-day Alaska cruise departing Aug. 9, 2020.

A 15-day Carnival Journeys Hawaii cruise round-trip from San Francisco departs April 16, 2020, calling at awe-inspiring destinations across the Aloha State, including Maui (Kahului), Honolulu, Hilo, Kona, and Kauai, as well as a stop in Ensenada.

Prior to its West Coast deployment, Carnival Miracle will offer a 17-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal transit March 2-19, 2020, calling at Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; and Limon, Costa Rica prior to the Panama Canal transit followed by calls at Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Carnival Journeys cruises offer unique local culinary and entertainment experiences as well as special activities, including a 1980s-themed Throwback Sea Day.

Carnival Miracle will operate a winter schedule of voyages from San Diego beginning Oct. 4, 2020. The program includes convenient three-day getaways to Ensenada, four-day sailings to Ensenada and Catalina Island, and five-day departures that spend two full days in the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas.

Also offered are four 15-day Carnival Journeys Hawaii cruises round-trip from San Diego departing Oct. 16 and Nov. 28, 2020, and Jan. 9 and Feb. 20, 2021. Featured ports include Hilo, Kona, Kauai (Nawiliwili), Maui (Kahului) and Honolulu, as well as stop in Ensenada, providing guests with a variety of landside experiences in this tropical Polynesian paradise.

Norwegian Cruise Line Reveals Winter 2020-2021 Itineraries
Norwegian Cruise Line, revealed its winter 2020/2021 itineraries. Highlights include sister ships, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore, sailing from Miami to the Caribbean; Norwegian Escape’s debut in Port Canaveral; and Norwegian Epic’s return to San Juan.

“We are so pleased with the variety of itineraries we are providing, including positioning sister ships, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Encore, to sail from the Cruise Capital of the World, where we can showcase the ship’s stand-out amenities to thousands of guests each week,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

Norwegian Joy will set sail from Miami for the first time and cruise a mix of five-to-seven-day Western and Eastern Caribbean voyages. Beginning Oct. 24, the ship’s Western Caribbean cruises will include calls to Roatan Island, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico while its Eastern Caribbean voyages will include Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands and the company’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

Following her first summer season in the Big Apple, Norwegian Encore will return to Miami to sail seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean with calls to Roatan Island, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico. She will also sail 12-to-13-day cruises through the Panama Canal, with visits to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; and Puerto Limon, Costa Rica.

For the first time, beginning Nov. 21, Norwegian Escape will homeport in Port Canaveral, sailing five-and-seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries with calls to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Cayman Islands; and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The ship will also sail two, four-day Bahamas cruises with visits to Nassau, Freeport and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Following her summer season in Miami, Norwegian Breakaway will return to New Orleans on November 22, cruising seven-day voyages to the Western Caribbean with calls to Roatan Island, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

Beginning Dec. 20, Norwegian Epic returns to San Juan, Puerto Rico to sail seven-day cruises to the crystal blue waters of the Southern Caribbean with visits to Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts; and Kralendijk, Bonaire.

Also beginning in December, Norwegian Getaway will sail select seven-and-eight-day cruises to the Bahamas and Florida from New York which will include calls to Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas. The ship will also cruise five-day Eastern Caribbean voyages out of Miami, with stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas as well as seven-day Western Caribbean cruises with calls to Roatan Island, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.

As of Nov. 30, Norwegian Gem will return to New York cruising a variety of 10,11,12 and 14-day Southern Caribbean voyages with calls to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. John’s, Antigua; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts; St. Maarten, Netherlands; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Norwegian Jade will call Tampa, Fla. her home beginning Nov. 22 and will sail a variety of Western and Southern Caribbean cruises through April 11. Seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean will include calls to Roatan Island, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico while Southern Caribbean cruises will visit George Town, Cayman Islands; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Castries, St. Lucia; Basseterre, St. Kitts; St. John’s, Antigua; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Norwegian Pearl will also sail a mix of Western and Southern Caribbean cruises as well as Panama Canal and Bahamas itineraries from Miami beginning Nov. 4. The ship’s five-day Western Caribbean voyages will include visits to Harvest Caye, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico. Norwegian Pearl’s 11-day Panama Canal cruises will sail to Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Roatan Island, Honduras; Harvest Caye, Belize; and Costa Maya, Mexico. Her 14-day voyage to the Southern Caribbean will stop in Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Castries, St. Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; St. John’s, Antigua; St. Maarten, Netherlands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The ship’s four-day Bahamas cruise will include visits to Freeport, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay.

Beginning Oct. 18, Norwegian Bliss will return to Los Angeles to sail an array of voyages including five-to-seven-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera with visits to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Ensenada. She will embark on select 16-day Panama Canal cruises from Los Angeles to Miami and back, featuring calls to Santa Marta and Cartagena, Colombia; Willemstad, Curacao; Oranjestad, Aruba; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While in Miami, she will sail seven-day Eastern Caribbean voyages with stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

Recently renovated with bow-to-stern enhancements, Norwegian Jewel will embark on Australia and New Zealand cruises beginning Oct. 9. Her popular Australia and New Zealand cruises will visit some of New Zealand’s most beautiful destinations including Milford Sound, Doubtful Fjord, Dusky Fjord, Dunedin, Picton, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Bay of Islands and Auckland.

Beginning Dec. 19, Norwegian Star will sail 14-day South American cruises with calls to Montevideo and Punta Del Este, Uruguay; Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Stanley, Falkland Islands; Ushuaia, Argentina; Punta Arenas, Cape Horn, Puerto Chacabuco and Puerto Montt, Chile.

Los Angeles Begins 100 Day Countdown to Royal Princess Arrival
In just 100 days, the Port of Los Angeles will welcome a Royal Princess – that is, the 3,560-guest Princess Cruises ship – taking guests to sought-after destinations including Mexico, the California Coast and Alaska. Royal Princess just completed a multi-million-dollar refurbishment including several new features and is officially ready to offer West Coasters convenient, roundtrip Los Angeles cruises starting March 23, 2019.

"We've been sailing from the Port of Los Angeles longer than any other cruise line, starting with one ship to Mexico in 1965," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Then, millions of viewers tuned in on Saturday nights to watch "The Love Boat" and its ocean-going co-star, Pacific Princess, sail from Los Angeles offering romance and adventure on the high seas. Now we're beginning a new chapter, more than 50 years later, with the arrival of Royal Princess and our biggest West Coast season yet, featuring one of our newest and most elegant ships in our global fleet."

Royal Princess just completed a renovation and received several new features, including:

• Princess Luxury Bed – available in every stateroom aboard Royal Princess, the Princess Luxury Bed was developed by Princess Cruises in collaboration with board-certified sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus. The plush bed offers the ultimate night of sleep at sea combining the science of sleep with the pinnacle of design and recently received the highest ranking for "Best Cruise Ship Beds" by Cruise Critic.

• Lotus Spa & Fitness Center – a space where guests can relax and invigorate, new equipment is now available in salon and treatment rooms and the latest in fitness machines is now available.

In addition, guests will be thoroughly entertained while sailing aboard Royal Princess with the following top-rated production shows performed live in the Princess Theater:

• The Secret Silk – the newest production show developed in partnership with award-winning composer of "Wicked," "Godspell" and "Pippin" – Stephen Schwartz. Along with Schwartz's cadre of Broadway talent, "The Secret Silk" was created and directed by John Tartaglia, a star of Broadway hits such as "Avenue Q" and includes life-size puppetry from Jim Henson's Creature Shop, featuring dance and special effects that transports guests to a mythical realm.

• Encore – inspired by the cruise line's top-rated show, "Bravo!" and accompanied by an impressive onstage orchestra, "Encore" celebrates the traditions of pop, opera and musical theater. The show was directed and choreographed by Disney Channel Creative Director Danny Teeson, with musical direction by Academy Awards Arranger Nelson Kole and set design by Emmy award-winner John Iacovelli.

• On the top deck, Watercolor Fantasy captivates guests as brightly colored lights illuminate the water offering a show of waltzes, pirouettes and fountains shooting water up to 33 feet high all choreographed to music.

Princess Cruises was recently recognized with the "Best Cruises from the West Coast" by Cruise Critic and Royal Princess will sail on a series of cruises from Los Angeles (San Pedro) to the Mexican Riviera with port calls in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, giving cruisers the chance to experience the local vibrant culture and flavors.

Carnival Corporation Will Launch Four New Ships in 2019
Carnival Corporation today announced it will launch four new cruise ships in 2019 across three of its leading global brands – Carnival Cruise Line, America's Cruise Line; Costa Cruises, the largest European cruise operator; and Princess Cruises, the world's largest international premium cruise line.

The world will get a preview of one of these spectacular new vessels when Carnival Cruise Line debuts a floral replica of its new Carnival Panorama sailing down Colorado Boulevard in the Rose Parade on New Year's Day, beginning a year-long celebration of its first new ship based in California in 20 years, scheduled to begin sailing from its homeport of Long Beach in December 2019. The float will include many of the signature features of the brand's ships – including the red and blue funnel, a water park and Lido Deck party – as well as the line's newest feature, the first-ever trampoline park at sea, in partnership with industry leader Sky Zone.

Additionally, as a replica of the Carnival AirShip flies over the float, fitness enthusiasts will be jumping into the fun on a Sky Zone trampoline built directly into the front of the float. And celebrating its role as the cruise line that carries the most military personnel, Carnival Cruise Line's float also salutes the brave men and women of the Armed Forces with a special appearance by former Miss USA, Deshauna Barber, godmother of Carnival Panorama's sister ship, Carnival Vista, and the first active member of the military to serve as Miss USA.

The new vessels also include Sky Princess, Princess Cruises' fourth Royal-class ship; and Costa Smeralda, the second of Carnival Corporation's total of 11 new ships joining the fleet between 2018 and 2025 that can be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) both in port and at sea; as well as Costa Venezia, Costa Cruises' first ship designed and built specifically for the China market.

The four ships are part of Carnival Corporation's ongoing fleet enhancement strategy with 20 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2019 and 2025 – creating excitement in the vacation market and helping the company's brands continue to provide a great vacation experience while accelerating demand for cruising, the fastest growing segment in the vacation industry.

These new ships build on the success of Carnival Corporation's four ships launched in 2018, which include Carnival Horizon from Carnival Cruise Line, Seabourn Ovation from Seabourn, ms Nieuw Statendam from Holland America Line and most recently, AIDAnova – the world's first cruise ship that can be powered by LNG both in port and at sea – from AIDA Cruises.

"Each launch of a new ship generates lots of interest and excitement among consumers, whether they are among our many loyal guests or they are new to cruising," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "Our four new ships in 2019 will be no exception as our brands will introduce spectacular new vessels that have been designed with one purpose in mind: to dazzle our guests as they enjoy an extraordinary vacation experience."

Carnival Corporation's four new cruise ship additions for 2019 include:

Carnival Panorama from Carnival Cruise Line – Expected Launch Date in December 2019
When the new Carnival Panorama arrives in Long Beach next December, it will become the brand's first new ship to homeport in California in 20 years, sailing year-round voyages from the newly renovated Long Beach Cruise Terminal to the Mexican Riviera.

On January 1, 2019, Carnival Cruise Line will preview a floral replica of the ship to 700,000 spectators at the 130th Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, as well as a worldwide television audience of more than 80 million parade fans. With tens of thousands of flower petals meticulously applied by hand, the float's signature touches will include flowers from more than 100 countries to represent the number of nations that the brand's employees hail from, as well as fitness enthusiasts jumping into the fun on a Sky Zone trampoline taking center stage on the 55-foot-long float.

The 4,008-passenger, 133,500-ton Carnival Panorama is the third in the line's highly successful Vista-class series, the largest ever constructed for Carnival Cruise Line, which includes Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon. The three ships are all named to reflect the connection between the vessels and the sea. Carnival Panorama will feature a wide variety of fun indoor and outdoor experiences for a unique seagoing vacation, including popular features such as the tropics-inspired Havana section, Family Harbor with extra-roomy staterooms and the Family Harbor Lounge, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa and the SportSquare recreation area.

Carnival Panorama is scheduled to debut on December 11, 2019, with a special three-day inaugural cruise from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which is housed in a massive 146,000-square-foot geodesic dome that once served as home to Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose airplane. Most California residents and the surrounding area live within a day's drive of the port. Year-round, seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises begin December 14, departing Long Beach every Saturday to stunning destinations along the Mexican Riviera, including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Sky Princess from Princess Cruises – Expected Launch Date in October 2019
Sky Princess will carry 3,660 guests and include the best of the stunning features found on its three Royal-class sister ships – Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess – as well as new offerings that represent an evolution of the current ships' designs, with new innovations designed to exceed guests' expectations.

New to Sky Princess are spectacular Sky Suites, centrally located on the top deck. Measuring 700 square feet and with a 270-degree panorama, the suites feature the largest private balconies at sea with a prime view of the ship's Movie Under the Stars screen. Sky Suites have sleeping capacity for five guests and plenty of room for entertaining, making them ideal for families and celebrations.

The 143,700-ton Sky Princess is designed to offer more ways for guests to unwind, with a new contemporary design for its relaxing adults-only Sanctuary area, and twice as many private cabanas as its sister ships. Also new for Sky Princess will be the addition of a Wakeview pool on its aft decks, plus two new deep-tank top deck pools, a restorative Retreat Pool and more Jacuzzis than previous Royal-Class ships, including two cantilevered over the deep-tank pools.

Other ship highlights will include a soaring central Piazza-style atrium, the iconic Seawalk, Princess Live! entertainment venue with a new café, Camp Discovery youth and teen centers, and a wide variety of guest-favorite dining venues with updated décor and design throughout the ship. Guests will also be able to enjoy the new look of the ship's Vista Lounge complete with a full bar offering, an evolution of the popular lounge on other Princess ships.

The inaugural Mediterranean deployment of Sky Princess is set to feature 10 cruise departures on eight unique itineraries, beginning October 20, 2019, with a seven-day Mediterranean and Adriatic cruise from Athens (Piraeus) to Barcelona. On November 17, the ship is scheduled to set sail from Barcelona for Fort Lauderdale, where guests will enjoy tropical holidays in the Caribbean before the ship returns to tour Europe beginning in April 2020.

Costa Venezia from Costa Cruises – Expected Launch Date in March 2019
For Costa – the first international cruise brand to serve the China market with a homeported ship in 2006 – everything about Costa Venezia is designed with the Chinese consumers' preference in mind. The brand's first ship built specifically for the China market, Costa Venezia will deliver Costa's authentic Italian experience tailored to its Chinese guests' travel, leisure and entertainment preferences. Guests will also be able to savor fine Italian dining, luxury Italian shopping and world-class Italian entertainment, while enjoying familiar comforts such as a range of Chinese cuisines and Chinese-style karaoke bars.

From its grand atrium modeled on Piazza San Marco to original 'gondolas' made by local artisans and masked parties recreating the famous Carnival of Venice, Costa Venezia will bring the passion of Venetian culture to the Far East when it arrives at its Shanghai homeport. The 135,500-ton, 5,260-passenger Costa Venezia will be Costa Cruises' largest ship operating homeport cruises from China, and will be dedicated to Chinese guests beginning May 2019, offering them an Italian twist on cruise itineraries throughout East Asia.

European and North American guests will be welcomed onboard for the scheduled March 3, 2019, vernissage cruise from Trieste, Italy, to Greece and Croatia, followed on March 8 by a 53-day inaugural cruise, with Costa Venezia setting sail along the route once explored by Marco Polo, making its way through the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Southeast and East Asia before arriving in Shanghai.

Costa Smeralda from Costa Cruises – Expected Launch Date in October 2019
With a name that honors the spectacular Emerald Coast of Sardinia, the stunning features of Costa Smeralda will reflect the best of Italy, delighting guests with a unique travel experience evoking the style, hospitality and warmth of the "bel paese" (the beautiful country). The ship will be Costa Cruises' first that is able to be powered in port and at sea by LNG, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel.

The heart of the new flagship will be a centrally-located, three-level domed Colosseo, lined with themed lounge bars, that will feature the best shows each evening. Day or night guests will be drawn to enjoy their morning coffee and evening Campari while admiring the sea through the large glass walls.

The new Costa Cruises flagship will host another unique feature at sea: an onboard museum. The Costa Design Museum – or CoDe – will be dedicated to the excellence of Italian design, showcasing many of the Italian designers and design firms that contributed to the ship's construction and authentic "Made in Italy" décor.

Costa Smeralda guests will have access to 11 restaurants, four swimming pools, a water park with colorful waterslides, a multi-sport gym, disco, jazz club, games room, special areas set aside for kids and a luxurious spa featuring a beauty salon, hammam, thalassotherapy pool, 16 treatment rooms, and snow, salt and relaxation rooms. At 182,700 tons, and with over 2,600 guest rooms, Costa Smeralda will be the largest ship in Costa Cruises' fleet.

The ship is scheduled to make its maiden voyage on October 20, 2019, with a 15-day cruise from Hamburg, with stops in Rotterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona, and Marseille before arriving for a dazzling naming celebration at Savona, in northwest Italy, on November 3.

On November 4, the six-day inaugural cruise is expected to depart from Savona, calling on Barcelona, Marseille and Rome (Civitavecchia). Costa Smeralda will continue to sail in the Western Mediterranean until April 2020, with seven-day cruises calling on Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

Oasis Of The Seas To Make Big Apple Debut For Royal Caribbean's 2020-21 Deployment
Royal Caribbean International is charting a new course with its 2020-21 deployment plans, touting a fleet of Royal Amplified ships sailing to exciting destinations. An amped up Oasis of the Seas will greet Lady Liberty and deliver new vacations from the Northeast with 7-night Caribbean itineraries that include an unforgettable day at the cruise line's highly anticipated private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas. Oasis will be the first ship in her class and the world's largest to sail from the Northeast. For the first time since 2015, Anthem of the Seas will return to the U.K. to sail alongside Independence of the Seas, marking the cruise line's biggest presence in the region to-date.

Celebrating its one-year anniversary in summer 2020, Perfect Day at CocoCay will welcome 10 ships from more ports than any previous deployment, including newly added Galveston, Texas, as well as Barcelona, Spain on Allure and Rhapsody of the Seas' transatlantic sailings in November 2020. Adventure seekers from around the world will have more opportunity than ever to discover the thrill and chill experiences that await the whole family, including the tallest waterslide in North America, the Caribbean's largest wave pool, and the highest vantage point in The Bahamas from a helium balloon that rises 450 feet in the air. Delivering on its promise of creating memorable vacations on land and on board, Royal Caribbean will tout seven ships in 2020-21 that have emerged from the global cruise line's $1 billion Royal Amplified modernization program launched in 2018, introducing a wide range of bold, new adventures designed to appeal to all ages.

Big news for the Big Apple – Oasis of the Seas, the ship that revolutionized cruise vacations in 2009 with game-changing industry firsts, from the unique seven-neighborhood concept to the iconic AquaTheater performance venue, will undergo a bow-to-stern transformation in 2019 and become the first Royal Amplified ship to sail from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., starting in May 2020. Oasis of the Seas will transport travelers to the clear blue waters of The Bahamas all summer with 7-night itineraries, as well as a select number of short cruises north to New England and Canada.

Adventure of the Seas will return to Cape Liberty, sailing a variety of 5- and 9-night summer and fall itineraries to Bermuda, New England and Canada, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Travelers can extend leaf peeping season on Vision of the Seas, which will offer three 10- to 11-night open-jaw itineraries between Bayonne and Quebec City with an overnight in Quebec's capital – a UNESCO World Heritage treasure and North America's only fortified city.

Symphony of the Seas and sister ship Harmony of the Seas, the ultimate family ships, will return to PortMiami and Port Canaveral, Fla., respectively, offering 7-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Both ships will feature visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay, the ultimate destination for thrill and chill, on nearly all sailings.

Brilliance of the Seas will light up Boston in the fall, sailing 7- to 10-night cruises to Canada starting in September 2020, while Grandeur of the Seas continues to offer 9-night itineraries to Canada and New England for fall foliage from her year-round homeport in Baltimore, Md. Grandeur will embark on a combination of 5- and 9-night itineraries to Bermuda and The Bahamas in the summer months, and transition to 9-night Southeast Coast & Bahamas and 12-night Southern Caribbean cruises for the winter. Northeast, Canada and Bermuda itineraries will be available to book as of Dec. 13, 2018.

In 2020, San Juan, Puerto Rico will welcome what will be the newly modernized Freedom of the Seas. The largest ship to ever homeport in San Juan will return for the third consecutive year to sail 7-night itineraries year-round throughout the Southern Caribbean, traveling beyond the typical getaway to exotic destinations like Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Johns, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia and Bridgetown, Barbados. Rounding out the 7-night Caribbean offerings is Liberty of the Seas, which will continue to sail from Galveston to the Western Caribbean ahead of her own highly anticipated amplification in early 2021. The 7-night Bahamas, Bermuda and Caribbean itineraries will be available to book as of Dec. 13, 2018. vNo stranger to Perfect Day at CocoCay, two of Royal Caribbean's Amplified ships – Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas – will continue to elevate short Caribbean getaways all year with 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday itineraries to The Bahamas. Reimagined in 2018, Mariner will continue to sail from Port Canaveral in Orlando, Fla., while an amped up Navigator will remain a resident of Miami, sailing from the cruise line's state-of-the-art Terminal A. Navigator will be the third ship to be reimagined in February 2019, building on the successes of the brand's Royal Amplified fleet modernization program to incorporate a lineup of firsts and Royal Caribbean favorites with new experiences, including an awe-inspiring Caribbean poolscape, two daring waterslides – introducing the longest aqua coaster at sea – the first blow dry bar the industry, elevated nightlife and dining, and thrilling activities. Short Caribbean itineraries are now open to book.

Sharing the Texas-sized spotlight, Enchantment of the Seas will, for the first time from Galveston, offer a lineup of sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay for adventurous vacationers who want to wrangle first-time experiences that will top any bucket list. Enchantment will continue a mix of 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean sailings in the summer, perfect for short getaways and first-time cruise vacationers.

The Old World will get a new spin with Royal Caribbean's summer 2020 deployment. Longtime New York resident, Anthem of the Seas, will make the journey across the Atlantic to Southampton, England returning for the first time in five years. Anthem is set to embark on her biggest adventure yet as the Quantum Class ship visits coastal towns along the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Canary Islands, on 8- to 14-night itineraries. Modernized in 2018, Independence of the Seas will return to Southampton for the season and sail 7- to 14-night cruises around the Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands and North Africa, Scandinavia & Russia, and Italian Mediterranean, including new destinations Agadir, Morocco and Ponta Delgada in Portugal's Azores archipelago in the mid-Atlantic. Vacationers can also revel in the beauty of the Baltic with a 14-night itinerary – a first for a Freedom Class ship – featuring an overnight in Copenhagen, Denmark and two nights in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Royal Amplified will reach the far corners of Europe as Allure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas debut multimillion-dollar modernizations as they journey across Europe for the 2020 summer and fall seasons to rediscover legendary landmarks, charming coastlines and the diverse cultures. Allure of the Seas will be the first Royal Amplified Oasis Class ship in Europe, offering 7-night Western Mediterranean itineraries that depart from Barcelona. From Rome, the reimagined Explorer will offer a mix of 7- to 12-night sailings along the Greek Isles, uncovering storied temples, amphitheaters and villages.

Vision of the Seas will join Allure in Barcelona for the summer and fall seasons to offer travelers 12-night cruises across the Mediterranean, as Rhapsody of the Seas returns to Venice, Italy for the summer to offer shorter itineraries, alternating between Greece & Croatia and the Greek Isles. Copenhagen will welcome Jewel of the Seas for the season, as the ship sails a mix of 7-night itineraries through the Norwegian Fjords and Scandinavia & Russia. Brilliance of the Seas will return to Amsterdam for a third summer, sailing 12-night Baltic itineraries and a special 12-night sailing around the British Isles. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, adventurers can board Brilliance for a 15-night arctic crossing as the ship repositions from Amsterdam to Boston, Mass. European itineraries will be available to book the week of Dec. 17, 2018. All itineraries will be open to book by Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members one day prior to the general opening date.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 56.34 - 0.02%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 106.35 + 1.42%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.26 + 10.53%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 47.14 - 1.24%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship received special permission to fly the flag of the United Nations in honor of the over 25 nationalities represented in her crew?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
When the former American Export liner Constitution returned to service for American Hawaii cruises in 1982 she was rechristened by one of her famous former passengers. Who was given this honor?

Answer - OCEANIC CONSTITUTION was renamed CONSTITUTION and christened bt HRH Princess Grace of Monaco, who had sailed on the CONSTITUTION to her wedding to Prince Ranier. Princess Grace had christened the CUNARD PRINCESS 5 years earlier in New York.
courtesy of Johnathan Kopp, Berlin, Germany


Cruise News - December 10, 2018

Mardi Gras Selected As Name For Largest Carnival Cruise Line Ship Ever Constructed
In a nod to Carnival Cruise Line's rich history as America's Cruise Line, the line announced today that it will name its new XL-class ship to be delivered in 2020 Mardi Gras, bringing back to the fleet the name of the first Carnival Cruise Line ship that entered service in 1972 and started the wave of cruise vacation popularity in the United States.

In keeping with its tradition of fun, Carnival revealed the name to a nationwide television audience on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune on its signature Puzzleboard at the conclusion of the broadcast.

Mardi Gras will be the largest Carnival Cruise Line ship ever constructed and the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation's green cruising platform. At 180,000 tons, the new Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size of its namesake.

Currently under construction at Meyer Turku in Finland, the 5,200-plus lower berth vessel will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and attractions.

Itineraries for Mardi Gras will be announced in January and go on sale later that same month. Carnival Cruise Line fans who want to be the first to book on Mardi Gras can get a head start by clicking here where they can register to get a "first to know" alert and special promotional offer when itineraries are opened for sale.

The original 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras, a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner purchased by entrepreneur and Carnival founder Ted Arison, ushered in the modern-day cruise industry when it set sail on its inaugural voyage in 1972, helping to transform cruising from an experience once reserved for the elite into a mainstream vacation accessible and affordable to everyone.

"Our first ship Mardi Gras was a historic vessel, introducing a brand new style of cruising to the vacationing public. What better way to pay tribute to our company's nearly 50-year history of creating wonderful vacation memories than by naming this groundbreaking vessel after our original and beloved 'Fun Ship,'" said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "The new Mardi Gras will follow the trailblazing lead of her predecessor, introducing features and technological innovations that have never been seen before on a cruise ship while setting a new standard for seagoing vacations."

Carnival previously announced that the ship will be based in Port Canaveral, Fla., which will feature a new state-of-the-art terminal. A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line's founding.

AIDAnova Is Delivered
Carnival Corporation's AIDA Cruises welcomed AIDA Cruises' new AIDAnova into its fleet today at a celebration in Bremerhaven, Germany, as the world's first cruise vessel to be powered at sea and in port by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. AIDAnova becomes Carnival Corporation's fourth new ship of 2018.

"AIDAnova is a milestone for our company and the entire cruise industry," said Michael Thamm, group CEO of Carnival Corporation's Costa Group – which includes AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises – and Carnival Asia. "With Carnival Corporation pioneering LNG technology, we start a new era of environmentally friendly cruising. It's important now that the respective infrastructure will be further developed as more and more cruise lines are following our example."

The largest cruise ship ever built at a German shipyard, AIDAnova also marks an exciting new generation of ships for AIDA Cruises, Germany's leading cruise line. The new vessel combines innovative design, state-of-the-art technology and inspiring on-board features to enhance the vacation experience – including a domed adventure deck, theater with a 360-degree stage, TV studio, more than 20 different stateroom types and 40 different restaurants and bars, giving guests plenty of options for playing, relaxing and enjoying world-class dining.

AIDAnova set sail today for the Canary Islands to welcome its inaugural guests at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, embarking on December 19 for a seven-day holiday cruise around the Canary Islands and Madeira.

"I am so pleased about this extraordinary ship, which is another milestone on our steady path to providing sustainable cruises," said Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises, at today's handover event. "AIDAnova will offer guests entirely new experiences onboard through the further development of the innovative ship designs of AIDAprima and AIDAperla, and many other successful products in the AIDA fleet. With an extraordinary variety of individual vacation options, exciting entertainment and new wellness, fitness and culinary offerings, we are providing new and exciting reasons for people to enjoy a cruise vacation, one of the vacation industry's fastest-growing sectors."

The 40 onboard restaurants and bars include the new Time Machine restaurant, a new seafood restaurant named Ocean's, the Teppanyaki Asia Grill, the Rock Box Bar and more. The Beach Club and Four Elements adventure deck boasts three water slides and a climbing garden under the dome of a retractable glass roof. The Mystery Room brings the thrilling escape room experience to the high seas.

In the new Studio X, AIDA Cruises' first television studio at sea that produces and broadcasts live every day, passengers are invited to watch live cooking shows and game shows. AIDAnova's Theatrium puts showtime on a 360-degree stage, featuring technical marvels that include 11 LED walls and seven different laser shows.

Reflecting an evolving travel market, AIDAnova also offers 20 different stateroom types, ranging from a two-deck penthouse suite to spacious family and patio cabins to comfortable single options with a balcony.

For many years, AIDA Cruises has been a pioneer in the development of alternative modes of energy production on board its ships.

The cruise line began investing in LNG as a propulsion technology more than 10 years ago. With LNG, emissions of particulate matter and sulfur oxides are almost completely eliminated.

In 2021 and 2023, two additional ships from the new AIDA Cruises generation of vessels will join the AIDA fleet, in addition to new LNG-powered ships on order for Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises in the UK, and Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises in the U.S.

In total, following today's launch of AIDAnova, Carnival Corporation has an additional 10 next-generation "green" cruise ships on order that will be powered by LNG in port and at sea, with expected delivery dates between 2019 and 2025, leading the cruise industry's use of LNG to power cruise ships.

By making history as the first cruise ship to be powered in port and at sea by LNG, AIDAnova underscores Carnival Corporation's longtime role as an industry leader in developing innovative solutions for sustainability, including the environmental technology breakthrough of making its Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS) highly functional in the small confines of a cruise ship. Its pioneering Advanced Air Quality Systems, generically known as exhaust gas cleaning systems, are installed on 71 of the company's more than 100 ships.

In addition, over 40 percent of the company's fleet has "cold ironing" capabilities, enabling ships to use shoreside electric power where available while in port. The company has also implemented broad initiatives to optimize onboard energy usage and innovative hull designs and coatings to reduce fuel consumption by minimizing frictional drag.

Oasis Of The Seas To Make Big Apple Debut
Royal Caribbean International is charting a new course with its 2020-21 deployment plans, touting a fleet of Royal Amplified ships sailing to exciting destinations. An amped up Oasis of the Seas will greet Lady Liberty and deliver new vacations from the Northeast with 7-night Caribbean itineraries that include an unforgettable day at the cruise line's highly anticipated private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas. Oasis will be the first ship in her class and the world's largest to sail from the Northeast. For the first time since 2015, Anthem of the Seas will return to the U.K. to sail alongside Independence of the Seas, marking the cruise line's biggest presence in the region to-date.

Celebrating its one-year anniversary in summer 2020, Perfect Day at CocoCay will welcome 10 ships from more ports than any previous deployment, including newly added Galveston, Texas, as well as Barcelona, Spain on Allure and Rhapsody of the Seas' transatlantic sailings in November 2020. Adventure seekers from around the world will have more opportunity than ever to discover the thrill and chill experiences that await the whole family, including the tallest waterslide in North America, the Caribbean's largest wave pool, and the highest vantage point in The Bahamas from a helium balloon that rises 450 feet in the air. Delivering on its promise of creating memorable vacations on land and on board, Royal Caribbean will tout seven ships in 2020-21 that have emerged from the global cruise line's $1 billion Royal Amplified modernization program launched in 2018, introducing a wide range of bold, new adventures designed to appeal to all ages.

Big news for the Big Apple – Oasis of the Seas, the ship that revolutionized cruise vacations in 2009 with game-changing industry firsts, from the unique seven-neighborhood concept to the iconic AquaTheater performance venue, will undergo a bow-to-stern transformation in 2019 and become the first Royal Amplified ship to sail from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, N.J., starting in May 2020. Oasis of the Seas will transport travelers to the clear blue waters of The Bahamas all summer with 7-night itineraries, as well as a select number of short cruises north to New England and Canada.

Adventure of the Seas will return to Cape Liberty, sailing a variety of 5- and 9-night summer and fall itineraries to Bermuda, New England and Canada, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Travelers can extend leaf peeping season on Vision of the Seas, which will offer three 10- to 11-night open-jaw itineraries between Bayonne and Quebec City with an overnight in Quebec's capital – a UNESCO World Heritage treasure and North America's only fortified city.

Symphony of the Seas and sister ship Harmony of the Seas, the ultimate family ships, will return to PortMiami and Port Canaveral, Fla., respectively, offering 7-night itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. Both ships will feature visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay, the ultimate destination for thrill and chill, on nearly all sailings.

Brilliance of the Seas will light up Boston in the fall, sailing 7- to 10-night cruises to Canada starting in September 2020, while Grandeur of the Seas continues to offer 9-night itineraries to Canada and New England for fall foliage from her year-round homeport in Baltimore, Md. Grandeur will embark on a combination of 5- and 9-night itineraries to Bermuda and The Bahamas in the summer months, and transition to 9-night Southeast Coast & Bahamas and 12-night Southern Caribbean cruises for the winter. Northeast, Canada and Bermuda itineraries will be available to book as of Dec. 13, 2018.

In 2020, San Juan, Puerto Rico will welcome what will be the newly modernized Freedom of the Seas. The largest ship to ever homeport in San Juan will return for the third consecutive year to sail 7-night itineraries year-round throughout the Southern Caribbean, traveling beyond the typical getaway to exotic destinations like Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Basseterre, St. Kitts & Nevis; St. Johns, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia and Bridgetown, Barbados. Rounding out the 7-night Caribbean offerings is Liberty of the Seas, which will continue to sail from Galveston to the Western Caribbean ahead of her own highly anticipated amplification in early 2021. The 7-night Bahamas, Bermuda and Caribbean itineraries will be available to book as of Dec. 13, 2018.

No stranger to Perfect Day at CocoCay, two of Royal Caribbean's Amplified ships – Mariner of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas – will continue to elevate short Caribbean getaways all year with 3-night weekend and 4-night weekday itineraries to The Bahamas. Reimagined in 2018, Mariner will continue to sail from Port Canaveral in Orlando, Fla., while an amped up Navigator will remain a resident of Miami, sailing from the cruise line's state-of-the-art Terminal A. Navigator will be the third ship to be reimagined in February 2019, building on the successes of the brand's Royal Amplified fleet modernization program to incorporate a lineup of firsts and Royal Caribbean favorites with new experiences, including an awe-inspiring Caribbean poolscape, two daring waterslides – introducing the longest aqua coaster at sea – the first blow dry bar the industry, elevated nightlife and dining, and thrilling activities. Short Caribbean itineraries are now open to book.

Sharing the Texas-sized spotlight, Enchantment of the Seas will, for the first time from Galveston, offer a lineup of sailings to Perfect Day at CocoCay for adventurous vacationers who want to wrangle first-time experiences that will top any bucket list. Enchantment will continue a mix of 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean sailings in the summer, perfect for short getaways and first-time cruise vacationers.

The Old World will get a new spin with Royal Caribbean's summer 2020 deployment. Longtime New York resident, Anthem of the Seas, will make the journey across the Atlantic to Southampton, England returning for the first time in five years. Anthem is set to embark on her biggest adventure yet as the Quantum Class ship visits coastal towns along the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Canary Islands, on 8- to 14-night itineraries. Modernized in 2018, Independence of the Seas will return to Southampton for the season and sail 7- to 14-night cruises around the Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands and North Africa, Scandinavia & Russia, and Italian Mediterranean, including new destinations Agadir, Morocco and Ponta Delgada in Portugal's Azores archipelago in the mid-Atlantic. Vacationers can also revel in the beauty of the Baltic with a 14-night itinerary – a first for a Freedom Class ship – featuring an overnight in Copenhagen, Denmark and two nights in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Royal Amplified will reach the far corners of Europe as Allure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas debut multimillion-dollar modernizations as they journey across Europe for the 2020 summer and fall seasons to rediscover legendary landmarks, charming coastlines and the diverse cultures. Allure of the Seas will be the first Royal Amplified Oasis Class ship in Europe, offering 7-night Western Mediterranean itineraries that depart from Barcelona. From Rome, the reimagined Explorer will offer a mix of 7- to 12-night sailings along the Greek Isles, uncovering storied temples, amphitheaters and villages.

Vision of the Seas will join Allure in Barcelona for the summer and fall seasons to offer travelers 12-night cruises across the Mediterranean, as Rhapsody of the Seas returns to Venice, Italy for the summer to offer shorter itineraries, alternating between Greece & Croatia and the Greek Isles. Copenhagen will welcome Jewel of the Seas for the season, as the ship sails a mix of 7-night itineraries through the Norwegian Fjords and Scandinavia & Russia. Brilliance of the Seas will return to Amsterdam for a third summer, sailing 12-night Baltic itineraries and a special 12-night sailing around the British Isles. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, adventurers can board Brilliance for a 15-night arctic crossing as the ship repositions from Amsterdam to Boston, Mass. European itineraries will be available to book the week of Dec. 17, 2018. All itineraries will be open to book by Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members one day prior to the general opening date.

Norwegian Cruise Line Unveils Entertainment and Recreation Line-Up for Norwegian Encore at Keel Laying Ceremony
Today at the Meyer Werft shipyard, Norwegian Cruise Line held a keel laying ceremony for Norwegian Encore, unveiling the award-winning entertainment line-up and leading recreational amenities scheduled for the ship’s fall 2019 debut.

Following the major construction milestone and maritime tradition of embedding a “commemorative coin” within the keel blocks of the ship, attendees were treated to an unexpected presentation. Four performers appeared in extravagant costume with the lead singer in the show’s iconic boots, providing a surprise performance from “Kinky Boots,” confirming the Tony Award-winning musical as the headlining act on Norwegian Encore. Lola, the lead character, and her three dancing angels sang “Land of Lola,” one of the 16 original songs by Grammy Award winner Cyndi Lauper.

“Norwegian Encore’s keel laying ceremony was not only special because we crossed a key construction milestone, but because we celebrated the incredible partnership we have had with the Meyer Werft team - a team of talented individuals who have built some of our most innovative ships,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Today’s surprise ‘Kinky Boots’ performance showcases the evolution of the meaningful and unforgettable experiences we are dedicated to providing our guests. We are very excited to be the first to feature this award-winning musical at sea.”

"We are honored to celebrate the construction milestone and keel laying of Norwegian Encore, another ship of the brand’s fleet built by Meyer Werft during the long-term relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Stephan Schmees, project manager and member of the board for Meyer Werft. “We look forward to delivering this incredible ship in the fall of 2019 and showcasing the technology and innovation made in Germany."

Staying true to the company’s commitment to delivering unrivaled entertainment options; the freedom and flexibility for guests to express themselves and design their ideal cruise experience; and providing one of the most inclusive vacation options available, the offerings soon-to-be-available on Norwegian Encore are a testament to the continued evolution of the Breakaway-Plus class, the most successful class of the company’s history.

Exclusively on Norwegian Encore, “Kinky Boots” is a story about an unlikely partnership between a fabulous entertainer and factory owner, who through compassion and understanding embrace their differences and work together to create something the world has never seen before. Featuring original songs by Cyndi Lauper, the Broadway hit inspires audiences to feel free to be who they want to be.

Expanding on some of the most compelling entertainment at sea, “The Choir of Man,” which recently debuted on Norwegian Escape, combines high energy music, dance, live percussion and foot stomping choreography by the incredible talent of nine ordinary guys who perform everything from sing-along anthems to classic rock.

Additional entertainment that made a debut on Norwegian Bliss and will be available on Norwegian Encore include “Happy Hour Prohibition: The Musical,” the interactive cocktails and theater show, and guest favorite – The Cavern Club, which transports audiences back to the legendary Liverpool club with live musical performances from a Beatles cover band.

As the only company to offer go-karts at sea, Norwegian Cruise Line is expanding its portfolio with a bigger and better two-level race track on Norwegian Encore. At nearly 1,150 feet, ten exhilarating turns and four points that extend up to 13 feet over the side of the ship, guests will enjoy the largest race track at sea. Additional upgrades include a covered viewing area in the center of the track where guests can provide passing go-karts with an additional turbo boost by tagging them with a laser beam.

Norwegian Encore will also feature the Galaxy Pavilion, a more than 10,000-square-foot indoor virtual reality complex, showcasing cutting-edge technology and interactive gaming. From multisensory virtual experiences, simulators to an escape room taking guests on a labyrinth of adventures, guests of all ages will be able to find something to enjoy.

The industry’s only open-air laser tag arena made popular on Norwegian Bliss will reappear on Norwegian Encore, but this time as the resurrected lost city of Atlantis, with new elements for a more exciting and interactive experience. The ship will also feature the Aqua Park, which guests have come to expect of the Breakaway and Breakaway-Plus class, including two multi-story waterslides, one of which extends 11 feet over the edge of the ship and loops down to the deck below.

At approximately 169,000 gross tons and accommodating up to 4,000 guests, Norwegian Encore will cruise out of Miami every Sunday and sail seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean, beginning with her first journey on November 17, 2019 through April 12, 2020.

MSC Cruises Reveals New, Exclusive Cirque du Soleil At Sea Shows For MSC Bellissima
MSC Cruises has revealed today details of the two new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows that are being created specifically for MSC Bellissima. The breath-taking shows will be called SYMA – Sail beyond Imagination and VARÉLIA – Love in Full Color and will be available exclusively to MSC Bellissima guests, following her launch in March 2019.

The long-term partnership between MSC Cruises and Cirque du Soleil first began in 2013 and has since set new standards in live entertainment at sea. The partnership, in total, will result in eight original shows that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, exclusively on MSC Cruises' Meraviglia generation ships coming into service between 2017 and 2020. MSC Meraviglia was the first ship to debut the new Cirque du Soleil at Sea concept with the launch of the two shows VIAGGIO and SONOR last June. Work is already underway for MSC Grandiosa, launching in November 2019, and MSC Virtuosa, launching October 2020.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman commented, "The partnership with Cirque du Soleil is truly special. With the creation of Cirque du Soleil at Sea we wanted to bring our guests the very best in onboard live entertainment and more importantly something that they would not be able to see anywhere else in the world. As a family company, all of our strategic partnerships are built on shared values and a shared vision — a true collaboration from beginning to end. With Cirque du Soleil at Sea we wanted to bring yet more innovation to our entertainment offering, and this began with the bespoke design and construction of the state-of-the-art entertainment lounge — the only such venue at sea — through to the creative development of the shows, where we are involved every step of the way from early conception right through to final delivery of the shows."

Yasmine Khalil, Chief Executive Producer, Cirque du Soleil & President, 45 DEGREES stated, "We are thrilled to embark on our second MSC Cruises ship as we pursue Cirque du Soleil's journey at sea. We could not have wished for a better partnership where thanks to the purposely built theater, the Carousel Lounge, our teams can unleash their creativity and continue to push the boundaries of entertainment at sea. Joining VIAGGIO and SONOR, our first two shows on MSC Meraviglia, Cirque du Soleil continues to reinvent itself through an intimate theater experience, where two new shows are created exclusively for MSC Bellissima which promise to take MSC Cruises' guests on an entirely new journey. We look forward to revealing some of the details of these 2 new shows."

Mr Vago continued, "It is really quite incredible that we will develop together eight original shows, two for each of the initial four Meraviglia class ships. Every element of each show is unique from the concept and storyline, the characters, the costumes and make-up through to the music, staging and sound effects. This is unparalleled within the cruise industry and means that guests are able to experience original, truly distinct and spectacular Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows only on board our Meraviglia generation ships."

SYMA – Sail Beyond Imagination takes viewers on the epic journey of a young sailor, brimming with imagination. On this bold expedition, he braves the elements, plunges into troubled waters and discovers the mysterious island of his dreams, populated by surreal, and colorful creatures. We all carry our own imaginary island inside of us, so what are you waiting for? SYMA awaits. Immersive video images, an original set design, bioluminescent lighting and acrobatic feats make SYMA an unforgettable show.

VARÉLIA – Love in Full Color puts a futuristic twist on a traditional medieval tale. It traces the arduous course of an unconventional courtship between a princess with distinctive violet skin and a charming hero who is blind. Their budding romance is thwarted by a villain who, in a fit of madness, kidnaps the royal. With the help of his friends, the brave young hero formulates a plan to rescue his beloved. Delight in the acrobatic feats, the laser show and the unique set design of this futuristic medieval tale.

The Carousel Lounge is a purpose-built entertainment venue hosting just over 400 guests each night and specially designed for the needs of the Cirque du Soleil at Sea artists. Creating an immersive and intimate spectacle for MSC Cruises guests, the space allows viewers to fully connect with the artists. With an investment of €20 million each (approx. $22.7MM USD), the lounge features state-of-the-art technology and high specification technical features to deliver an exceptional and memorable entertainment experience for guests. The 360° rotating stage is set in the middle of the lounge with seating all around to maximize the viewing experience.

The central stage also rotates, meaning guests can see the action from different angles during every performance. Another important element to the impressive stage layout is a 131-ft.-long LED screen, which is integral to each show and creates an immersive performance. Cirque du Soleil performances are renowned for their aerial acts, and special rigging has been developed on board to enable the artists to perform their impressive aerial acrobatics. The shows on board MSC Bellissima will feature additional new and exciting special effects and features.

Positioned at the aft of the ship on deck 7, the Carousel Lounge offers stunning views of the ocean. Guests can enjoy the beautiful views and pre-show entertainment while having dinner or sipping a cocktail before the performance starts.

The artists for the new shows have now been cast and, after training at Cirque du Soleil Headquarters in Montreal, Canada, the team will soon embark on board MSC Bellissima where final preparations will be underway. All of the artists have been carefully selected for their special performance skills and the specific needs of the two shows. The performers have also been trained to the high standards required of Cirque du Soleil performers.

Cirque du Soleil at Sea is a pre-booked experience for guests with competitive rates and can be booked in advance, or on board during the cruise, if availability allows. Guests can either book to enjoy a three-course menu of palate-pleasing dishes served before the show ($39). Or sip on a specialty cocktail ($17) and enjoy the pre-show that begins 30 minutes before the start of the Cirque du Soleil at Sea performance.

Carnival Cruise Line, Port of Galveston Celebrate Port’s 10 Millionth Cruise Passenger
Carnival Cruise Line joined one of its most popular and fast-growing ports, the Port of Galveston, in welcoming the Port’s 10 millionth passenger, Mr. Yingtao Liu from Norman, Okla., who boarded Carnival Vista on Sunday, December 9. Carnival was the first cruise line to realize the potential of Galveston as a year-round cruise port in 2000 and since then, has carried millions of guests from Texas.

Upon arrival at the port, to their surprise, Mr. Liu, his wife, parents and three children were warmly greeted by Rodger Rees, Port of Galveston CEO and Port Director; Pavol Drimaj, Carnival Vista Hotel Director; and other members of the Carnival Vista team before boarding the ship for a week-long voyage – the family’s first cruise ever!

To celebrate the port’s incredible milestone, Carnival Cruise Line along with the Port of Galveston, Galveston Convention and Visitors’ Bureau and Island Bay Resort, rolled out the red carpet and provided a variety of gifts to the Liu family, including a Carnival tote with a collection of vacation essentials, a bountiful basket of delicious treats, a specially designed gift bag of Galveston-related items, and a three-night stay at a local resort. The family will also receive onboard courtesies and VIP treatment from Carnival Vista throughout their seven-day cruise which includes stops at Caribbean hot spots Cozumel, Belize and Mahogany Bay.

“We have always recognized the incredible potential of the Port of Galveston and are proud to be a part of their momentous achievement,” said Drimaj. “We offer our most heartfelt and sincere congratulations to the entire port team and look forward to continuing to work together in providing great vacations and amazing service to our guests.”

Earlier this fall, Carnival home ported one of the most innovative ships in its fleet, Carnival Vista, at the Port of Galveston, and next year, the line will continue to expand its voyages from there with Carnival Dream’s year-round four- and five-day cruises to Mexico, the largest Carnival ship to operate a short cruise program from any port. In addition to Carnival Vista, the line operates Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor from the port – together, these three ships carry more than 650,000 passengers annually, the most of the any cruise operator.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 56.35 - 7.74%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 104.86 - 8.22%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.14 - 0.84%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 47.73 - 7.39%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
When the former American Export liner Constitution returned to service for American Hawaii cruises in 1982 she was rechristened by one of her famous former passengers. Who was given this honor?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
What ocean liner is shown in the background of the opening scene of the movie West Side Story?

Answer - The ss United States was shown in the background of West Side Story..
courtesy of Barry Vaudrin, Minneapolis, MN


Cruise News - December 3, 2018

Celebrity Cruises Launches A Historic New Ship, Named By A Historic Godmother
After more than four years hard work on the part of thousands of engineers, architects, artisans, designers and crew, Celebrity Cruises sets sail into a new era Tuesday. Celebrity Edge joined the fleet after a moving ceremony where the ship's godmother, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, was joined by all on board to "bless this ship and all those who sail upon her."

The naming event brought together more than 3,000 guests, employees, crew members and students to commemorate the debut of Celebrity's first new ship in six years and first new ship series in more than a decade.

Yousafzai, who is now a college student at Oxford University, is the inspirational co-founder of Malala Fund, which advocates for a world where every girl can learn and lead by investing in local education activists, holding global leaders accountable and amplifying girls' voices around the world.

She discussed those issues before the ship's crew and guests in a one-on-one interview with Celebrity's President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. From girls' education to the power of diversity, both share a profound passion and commitment to these important issues.

"We are honored that Malala agreed to be the godmother of this ship, a role that reflects centuries of maritime traditions," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Celebrity's parent company. "We are especially proud because Malala's example of relentless persistence and achievement is an inspiration to our crew, who have all worked so hard and made real sacrifices to build better lives for themselves and their families."

Lutoff-Perlo added: "I am so very proud to have Malala Yousafzai as godmother of Celebrity Edge. Malala embodies our commitment to opening the world through education and gender equality. Seeing her aboard our ship sends a powerful message to our crew who represent over 70 diverse nationalities, and our guests who we sail all over the world." She continued, "The ceremony today was both touching and symbolic of what Celebrity Cruises stands for. I am grateful to Malala, her family and Malala Fund for embracing today's events and look forward to continuing our work together around the world."

Celebrity is proud to partner with Malala Fund and support them in their mission to see the 130 million out of school girls around the world get the 12 years of free, safe, quality education they deserve.

"I'm fighting to ensure millions of girls stuck in situations of poverty or war that they didn't create can learn what they need to choose a future for themselves. But to continue making progress for girls' education, we need support from leaders in every sector. I am so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for their generous support and investment in the potential of girls everywhere," said Malala Yousafzai, co-founder of Malala Fund.

At the naming event, hosted by noted designer Nate Berkus, emotions ran high when acclaimed recording artist Andra Day took to the stage for empowering renditions of her Grammy-nominated single "Rise Up" and Oscar-nominated single "Stand Up For Something." Both anthems were chosen for their bold statements about the power of girls' education and its role in shaping the future.

The brand chose to forego the traditional champagne bottle at the launch, and instead smashed a custom-made 18-liter bottle of Badoit French mineral water across the ship's Parabolic Ultra Bow. And with that, the ship's long-awaited inaugural season will get underway, ushering in the premium cruise line's first new ship series in more than a decade – and sparking a revolution in the industry, with the ship's cutting-edge design and first-at-sea offerings.

Celebrity Edge will begin her inaugural season sailing alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries before transporting guests to the stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of seven- to 11-night sailings from iconic cities like Barcelona and Rome in 2019. Sailing round-trip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Celebrity Edge will make her first maiden voyage on December 9, 2018.

Holland America Line Takes Delivery of Nieuw Statendam
Holland America Line took delivery of Nieuw Statendam today, Nov. 29, 2018, officially making it the 15th ship in the fleet. A hand-over ceremony took place at Fincantieri's Marghera, Italy, shipyard, and Nieuw Statendam will set sail for Venice tomorrow en route to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, for its Premiere Voyage with guests departing Dec. 5.

The delivery was attended by Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president; Carnival Corporation's Micky Arison, chairman of the board, and Arnold Donald, president and CEO; and Stein Kruse, chief executive officer of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, and several other executives from both companies also attended.

"Today the Holland America Line family celebrates the addition of Nieuw Statendam to our fleet, and it's a proud moment for everyone involved," said Ashford. "Thank you to our partners at Fincantieri and our own team members who worked diligently to deliver the ship looking more stunning than we imagined. Nieuw Statendam represents our continued evolution of adding exciting new experiences while maintaining the hallmarks that have made Holland America Line a leader in premium cruising."

Following its transatlantic crossing from Civitavecchia, Nieuw Statendam will spend a full season in the Caribbean sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. Nieuw Statendam's official naming ceremony will take place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Feb. 2.

The ship will head to its summer homeport of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in May and sail a series of northern Europe, Baltic and Iceland cruises before making its way to the Mediterranean in September for cruises out of Civitavecchia.

The 99,902-ton vessel accommodates 2,666 guests and is the ultimate expression of the Holland America Line brand. The ship features purpose-built staterooms for families and solo travelers among its 1,377 guest accommodations.

While much of the ship's design will be similar to Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship, Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten. The ship will feature grand, light-filled spaces, visual drama and sumptuous interiors inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments.

In addition to the stunning Dining Room, guests will delight in specialty restaurants that include newly designed Rudi's Sel de Mer, a French seafood brasserie; pan-Asian Tamarind, with a new al fresco dining area where guests can enjoy the gentle ocean breeze; Nami Sushi, a new sushi experience within Tamarind; the award-winning Pinnacle Grill; Canaletto, with family-style Italian dining; and the new Club Orange restaurant exclusively for guests in the Club Orange program.

Additional culinary venues include Grand Dutch Cafe featuring traditional Dutch coffee and treats and European beer; Dive-In, serving up gourmet burgers and fries poolside; New York Deli & Pizza, offering made-to-order sandwiches and pies; and Lido Market, with themed serving stations that revolutionize the buffet experience.

Onboard entertainment features the innovative Music Walk offering a variety of authentic live musical experiences and genres unlike any other at sea. These include the debut of the new Rolling Stone Rock Room with classic rock hits; Lincoln Center Stage, with chamber music; Billboard Onboard, with chart-topping hits; and the popular B.B. King's Blues Club, bringing the best of Memphis music to sea. With the 270-degree LED projection at World Stage and expanded seating on Nieuw Statendam, even more guests will enjoy spectacular performances with panoramic visuals and sound effects.

Cunard Launches New Holistic Spa Concept
Luxury cruise line Cunard announces Mareel Wellness & Beauty: a new spa concept developed in partnership with wellness innovator Canyon Ranch, to be rolled out across its fleet. Mareel will launch exclusively on board the newly-refurbished Queen Elizabeth this December 2018, closely followed by Queen Victoria and on flagship liner Queen Mary 2 in November 2020.

Mareel, meaning phosphorescence of the ocean, is taken from the ancient Norse language and speaks to the illuminating light and healing energy of the sea. The new brand will offer a holistic approach with an extended spa treatment menu of mineral-rich seawater and marine-based experiences as well as a redesign of the entire spa facility.

The new spa decor will bring to life the magic of the ocean in hues of blue, green and pale coral, creating a sanctuary of calm where guests can soak up the sea's transformational energy. New offerings on Queen Elizabeth include:

• Couples suite for seaweed bathing rituals

• Meditation room with acoustic resonance loungers

• Redesigned multifunctional fitness center and studio space

• Sound therapy facilities in every treatment room

The 'Ocean Discovery' will launch as the signature treatment featuring organic marine-based products from VOYA sustainably harvested in Western Ireland and designed to replenish and nourish the skin and body. An entire range of ocean inspired massage, body and alternative treatments will also launch and will complement the aqua therapy center harnessing the healing power of water. Treatment highlights include:

• Taste the Ocean Full Body Experience

• Organic Seaweed Leaf Wrap

• Luminescence Massage

• Age-Defying Restorative Facial

In addition, a new range of luxury products will be introduced, all selected to offer socially responsible production techniques with organic ingredients that are sustainably harvested, wild-picked, biodynamic and toxin-free including Red Flower, Shankara and Environ.

Mareel will also feature enhanced wellness experiences across the ship's daily activity program including stretch and daily meditation videos shown on stateroom TVs, wellness seminars, and outdoor dance and yoga classes.

"We are thrilled to debut our new collaboration with Canyon Ranch, Mareel Wellness & Beauty, onboard the recently enhanced Queen Elizabeth," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Cunard's first-ever, uniquely conceived spa concept will offer our discerning guests a new level of luxury wellness at sea - only on Cunard."

The new Mareel Wellness & Beauty experience is just one of the many enhancements on Queen Elizabeth during a two-week dry dock in Brest, France this past November. In addition to the new spa, many public spaces, bars and lounges have been updated and all Grill Suites and Britannia Staterooms have new carpets and soft furnishings. The Royal Court Theater had a complete technical overhaul; the Royal Arcade has been enhanced to offer an elevated shopping experience; and the outdoor decks have new furniture with a new layout on the Sun Deck.

Queen Elizabeth will embark on a banner year in 2019, setting sail on January 3 from Southampton to Australia via Cape Town, South Africa, then travel to Japan for April voyages exploring the cultural delights of the islands. On May 5, she will start a transpacific voyage to relocate to Alaska for a maiden season until June 30, 2019. Queen Elizabeth will then sail down the West Coast of the U.S. with a rare overnight stay in Los Angeles on July Fourth, and then head back to Southampton via the Panama Canal.

Carnival Legend To Visit 34 Ports In 14 Countries In 2020
Carnival Legend will operate Carnival Cruise Line's most diverse European season to date with nine- to 16-day voyages visiting 34 ports in 14 countries including breathtaking destinations in Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Croatia, Portugal, Greece, Greenland and Iceland in summer and fall 2020.

Available through the Carnival Adventures program, hundreds of shore excursions will be offered where guests can explore centuries-old historic sites and landmarks, savor delicious local cuisine and view spectacular scenery, including the majestic Norwegian fjords.

"We've put together an unmatched program of European cruises, featuring off-the-beaten path destinations as well as some of the most popular seaside port cities. There's no better way to Choose Fun in Europe!" said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

In 2020, Carnival Legend will boast the company's most comprehensive European schedule ever, offering an unprecedented variety of destinations, cruise durations and embarkation ports. Highlights include:

• A 16-day Northern trans-Atlantic crossing from New York to London (Dover) June 3-19, featuring day-long visits to these spectacular destinations: Qaqortoq, Greenland; Reykjavik, Iceland; Lerwick, Shetland Islands; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Cork (Cobh), Ireland.

• A nine-day Norwegian Fjords cruise round-trip from London June 19-28, visiting six scenic Norwegian ports: Bergen, Olden, Molde, Trondheim, Alesund, and Stavanger, with ample opportunities to view the majestic Norwegian fjords.

• A nine-day Western Europe cruise June 28 – July 7 from London to Barcelona, visiting Le Havre (Paris), France; La Coruña, Spain; Leixoes and Lisbon, Portugal; Gibraltar; and Malaga, Spain

• Nine- to 12-day Mediterranean cruises between Venice and Barcelona with stops at some of Europe's most beautiful and sought-after destinations, including Marseilles, France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Rome (Civitavecchia) and Naples, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; Valletta, Malta; and Dubrovnik and Rijeka, Croatia.

• A 16-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to Tampa Oct. 30 – Nov. 15, highlighted by visits to Malaga, Spain; Funchal (Madeira), Portugal; Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; Antigua; San Juan; and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic).

Before her summer in Europe, Carnival Legend will operate a 13-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal voyage from Tampa to New York May 3-16, 2020, with calls in Cozumel, Mexico and Limon, Costa Rica prior to a partial Panama Canal transit followed by visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Aruba; and Grand Turk.

Once in New York, Carnival Legend will operate two nine-day Caribbean sailings departing May 16 and 25, 2020 and featuring San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.

Carnival Legend will also offer a schedule of six- and seven-day Caribbean sailings featuring calls at a variety of tropical islands, including Grand Cayman, Belize, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), as well as eight-day partial Panama Canal voyages, round-trip from Tampa in winter 2020-21.

Holland America Line Offers Range of Options in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific for 2019 Season
In 2019, Holland America Line's Noordam is set to cruise a variety of unique itineraries in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific that showcase the region's must-visit ports, bucket-list locales and iconic sites. Maasdam also will explore the area on its longer EXC In-Depth Voyages, which include an epic 30-day Australia Circumnavigation.

Offering a premium, mid-sized ship experience, Noordam explores the enchanting islands of the South Pacific, Australia's southern and eastern regions, and the North and South islands of New Zealand on a series of cruises that range from 10 to 26 days. Maasdam's EXC In-Depth Voyages also touch the South Pacific and New Zealand on cruises from 11 to 30 days and reach the entire coast of Australia.

Many of the itineraries can be booked together to form longer, more in-depth Collectors' Voyages of up to 51 days, which combine nonrepeating back-to-back cruises.

"For many travelers, a trip to Australia, New Zealand or the South Pacific is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, so we've planned our cruises to call at some unique ports that aren't on every cruise itinerary, in addition to the iconic places everyone wants to see in that part of the world," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Holland America Line's mission is to deliver the most in-depth, immersive cruise experience so our guests feel connected to those destinations and local cultures when they return home. These two ships offer incredible itineraries that are going to be enticing to many travelers."

Noordam offers cruises roundtrip from Sydney, Australia, or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand. During the voyages, guests experience some of the world's most scenic cruising, including Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. Shoreside, many of the tours include UNESCO World Heritage Site visits.

The ship kicks off the new year departing Jan. 4 on a 10-day South Australia Discovery cruise roundtrip from Sydney, with a call in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island. Noordam's 14-day Pacific Treasures cruise in January is also roundtrip Sydney but highlights more exotic and lesser-known tropical ports on the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia, with four calls at each locale.

The 13- or 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruises between Auckland and Sydney run January through March 2019 and again in November and December, including a special holiday cruise departing Dec. 21. Those itineraries visit seven to 10 ports and include a day of scenic cruising in Fiordland National Park. Several departures also include scenic cruising in Milford Sound.

The 14-day New Zealand Discovery voyages departing in March and April sail roundtrip from Sydney and include nine calls in New Zealand, giving a comprehensive exploration of the country. The cruise includes scenic cruising in Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park.

A Transpacific crossing between the Pacific region and North America is offered at the beginning and end of each season. Departing April 21, 2019, Noordam sets sail from Sydney to Vancouver, British Columbia, on a 22-day journey that calls at seven ports in New Caledonia, Fiji, American Samoa and Hawaii. The ship returns to Australia on a 26-day South Pacific Crossing from Vancouver to Sydney Oct. 13, making calls in Hawaii, American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Maasdam's first 2019 cruise in the Australasia region departs in March to the South Pacific. The 17-day Pacific Odyssey itinerary from Brisbane, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand explores several ports on the islands of New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Zealand. The ship then heads to North America on a 24-day Polynesian Crossing from Auckland to San Francisco, California, calling at Tonga, Niue, Cook Islands, Bora Bora, Moorea, Papeete, Rangiroa, Tuamotu, Marquesas and Nuku Hiva.

The ship returns to New Zealand in September 2019 for an 11-day cruise before embarking on an epic 30-day Australia Circumnavigation Oct. 17. During this memorable voyage, the ship will call at 14 Australian ports, infamous Komodo Island and feature scenic cruising in the Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reef, Torres Strait and a sunrise at Lizard Island.

Maasdam then sails a 17-day Australia & Melanesia itinerary departing Nov. 16 up the eastern coast of Australia to Alotau, Kiriwina, Kitava and the Conflict Islands. In December the ship offers a 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure cruise roundtrip from Sydney to New Zealand, Tonga, Niue, Fiji and New Caledonia. Departing Dec. 23, the 14-day Southern Australia Holiday cruise offers Australian ports and can be combined with the 20-day Pacific Islands Adventure cruise to form an ideal 34-day holiday adventure.

Ranging from 24 to 51 days, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Collectors' Voyages are perfect for avid explorers seeking a more extensive cruise experience. The voyages combine back-to-back itineraries and represent the best per-day value for guests. During the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific cruise season, Noordam sails six Collectors' Voyages and Maasdam offers seven, affording the most in-depth exploration of this diverse region with extended itineraries visiting multiple destinations.

Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings the traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific to life onboard. Through EXC Encounters, guests could learn how to play a didgeridoo or see a performance by a local dance troupe. Guests who want to learn more about the countries can attend an EXC Talk by an EXC Guide or head to America's Test Kitchen for a cooking demonstration, cooking class or themed mixology class featuring local fare.

The EXC Team will provide further customized guidance for the port calls, and the in-stateroom EXC Channel will feature a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring destinations on the ship's itinerary.

EXC In-Depth Voyages expand on EXC programming by creating a total experience on board and ashore. Onboard enrichment is guided by a special resident team of subject-matter experts — covering such topics as marine and bird life, geology, cultural anthropology and history — who sail on all EXC In-Depth cruises, complementing each adventure with informative talks and insightful discussions of their own field experiences.

Each journey offers guests a variety of themes and choices to tailor their exploration: photography; science and nature; arts and culture; food, wine and spirits; history and perspective; and active exploration. Guests are free to focus on one area of interest or combine their passions through onboard enrichment and captivating shore activities.

Maasdam carries Zodiac inflatable boats, the type popularized by famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, so guests can enjoy opportunities to intimately explore less-accessible sites and wildlife habitats in select ports as part of the ship's EXC Tours program. A mix of onboard experts and local guides co-guide Zodiac outings to enrich the experience for guests.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Announces 2020 Voyages In Tahiti, French Polynesia & The South Pacific
Paul Gauguin Cruises officially announced its 2020 voyages this week, which feature popular favorites along with an exotic 16-night Fiji to Bali itinerary, and 12- and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands sailings.

The 16-night Fiji to Bali voyage departs April 11, 2020, from Lautoka, Fiji, and after a sea day visits Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu; At Sea; Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; At Sea; Samarai Island, Papua New Guinea; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; At Sea; Thursday Island, Australia; At Sea (2 days); Dili, Timor-Leste; At Sea; Komodo Island, Indonesia; and Benoa, Bali, Indonesia.

In 2020, The Gauguin will also be showcasing its most sought-after itineraries: the 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands; the 7-night Society Islands & Tahiti Iti; the 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus; the 11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands; and the 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands.

The Gauguin returns to the tropical wonderland of Fiji on two voyages that also feature Tonga, the Cook Islands, and the Society Islands. Blessed with blue skies, high mountains, lush vegetation, ivory beaches, and shimmering azure waters, Fiji is the very picture of paradise. The 13-night voyage departs Papeete, Tahiti, on March 28, 2020, and visits: Moorea, Society Islands; Taha'a (Motu Mahana), Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands (overnight); At Sea; Aitutaki, Cook Islands; At Sea (2 days); Vava'u, Tonga; At Sea; Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji; Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji; Beqa Island, Fiji; and Lautoka, Viti Levu, Fiji. The 12-night reverse itinerary departs June 6, 2020, and calls at the same ports except Beqa Island, Fiji.

Designed specifically to sail the pristine lagoons of these islands, The Gauguin provides an up-close, authentic experience of the South Seas and offers an elegant yet casual ambiance with luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, trademark Polynesian hospitality, and extraordinary all-inclusive value. Guests also receive complimentary access to Paul Gauguin Cruises' two exclusive retreats. Off the coast of Taha'a lies the islet of Motu Mahana, where guests can enjoy a day of watersports, Polynesian activities, a sumptuous barbecue feast, and cocktails from full and floating bars. In Bora Bora, guests can relax on a private, white-sand beach and enjoy refreshments, a game of volleyball, and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.

To launch its 2020 voyages, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering savings of 50% off standard cruise fares on all voyages, plus included airfare from Los Angeles. Past guests of Paul Gauguin Cruises enjoy additional savings of up to 15% off final cruise fares on select sailings as members of Paul Gauguin Society.

Carnival Corporation to Operate Cruise Terminal in Canary Islands
Carnival Corporation today announced an agreement with the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife following a Board of Directors meeting presided by Pedro Suárez López de Vergara to be the first concession-holder to operate the Canary Islands' and Mid Atlantic's newest cruise terminal.

Opened in 2016 during the Seatrade Cruise Med conference that took place in Tenerife, the terminal offers passengers a comfortable experience and modern conveniences. It can also accommodate next-generation "green" cruise ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel, and will welcome AIDAnova, from the corporation's Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand, on its maiden voyage in December as the world's first cruise ship that can be powered by LNG both in port and at sea.

Welcoming 617,987 cruise passengers in 2017, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Canary Islands, the seven-island Spanish archipelago off the coast of Africa and Spain, and the first to attract an investment by a major cruise company. The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member, is a very active member of MedCruise, the leading cruise port association worldwide, and it has been a Cruises Atlantic Islands founding member since 1994.

Carnival Corporation also manages two other cruise terminals in Spain – the Helix and Palacruceros facilities in Barcelona.

Seven brands from Carnival Corporation – AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn and P&O Cruises UK – make port calls to Tenerife during the course of the year. Carnival Corporation expects to bring more than 300,000 passenger visits to the port in 2018 – half of all cruise passenger visits – with 130 calls by 31 different ships from the company's cruise line brands.

"Carnival Corporation has long been a valued partner with the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Canary Islands, and we are confident that they will be a wonderful steward of our recently built cruise port," said Pedro Suárez López de Vergara, president of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. "Thanks in large part to Carnival Corporation ships, the cruise market generated an economic impact to the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the city of Santa Cruz of €24 million ($27.1 million) in the 2018 cruise season, an increase of €6m from the 2017 cruise season, and we look forward to continuing to share our beautiful island with visiting cruise passengers coming through this cruise terminal."

The Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife celebrates this long-term agreement with the aim of extending the benefits to its other ports – Santa Cruz de La Palma, San Sebastián de La Gomera, La Estaca in El Hierro and Los Cristianos in Tenerife.

The president continued: "Our ports are performing very well in the cruise business – last year we received nearly 1 million cruise passengers and we are confident to increase this figure close to 2 percent in 2018. We expect the new partnership will boost the cruise business in the region."

Carnival Corporation guests who visit Tenerife can take advantage of a variety of popular shore excursions, including whale and dolphin watching, visiting the historic district of La Laguna – the only UNESCO World Heritage City in the Canary Islands – and exploring natural attractions such as the Gardens of La Orotava Valley, the Anaga Biosphere Reserve or the Mount El Teide in the National Park, home to Spain's highest peak and the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

"This concession and our ongoing investment is part of Carnival Corporation's long-term strategy to continue to develop the cruise industry in the Canary Islands," said Giora Israel, senior vice president of global port and destination development for Carnival Corporation. "Our passion is to always provide the best possible experiences for our guests, and Tenerife is an extremely popular destination that offers something for everyone – including a storied history, beautiful beaches, exotic gardens, unique crafts and memorable cuisine. We look forward to ensuring that our cruise guests coming through the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife have a great experience, and we also look forward to expanding relationships with our friends in Tenerife."

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife terminal will be the first port in the Canaries able to accommodate Carnival Corporation's new class of next-generation "green" cruise ships able to be operated by LNG, both in port and at sea. The company currently has 11 LNG-powered ships on order for five of its nine cruise line brands, with the first ship, AIDAnova, scheduled to make its maiden call on Tenerife on December 18, 2018.

In addition to its ships that will pioneer the use of LNG, the company has been an industry leader with another environmental technology breakthrough, making Advanced Air Quality Systems (AAQS) highly functional in the small confines of a cruise ship. Carnival Corporation has already outfitted 70 ships in its fleet with the systems, which significantly improve air emissions by reducing sulfur compounds and particulate matter in ships' exhaust.

Santa Cruz Terminal joins eight global ports and terminals already operated by Carnival Corporation and its cruise line brands, including:

• Barcelona (Helix & Palacruceros terminals) in Spain

• Savona in Italy

• Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic

• Puerta Maya in Cozumel, Mexico

• Grand Turk Cruise Center in Turks and Caicos Islands

• Mahogany Bay in Roatan, Honduras

• Long Beach in California

Carnival Corporation also operates two private destinations in the Caribbean, Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay, and has a joint venture in Dubai for the future operation of two cruise terminals. Additionally, through a joint venture, Carnival Corporation is a 50/50 operator with MSC Cruises of a terminal in Marseille, France.

Royal Caribbean Appoints Stephen R. Howe Jr. To Board Of Directors
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) today announced the appointment of Stephen R. Howe Jr., retired U.S. Chairman and Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, to its Board of Directors. His appointment is effective as of December 4.

"It is my pleasure to welcome Mr. Howe to our board of directors," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "His 35 years of involvement in professional services, as well as his experience on diversity and inclusion, will be a valuable addition to the board."

Mr. Howe served as Ernst & Young's U.S. Chairman and Managing Partner and Americas Area Managing Partner and was a member of EY's Global Executive Board from 2006 until his retirement in December 2018. While leading EY in the U.S. and the Americas, he was the executive sponsor for the firm's focus on diversity and inclusiveness. Prior to 2006, Mr. Howe was the Managing Partner of the firm's Financial Services Office and led client service teams for a number of global financial institutions. He was with EY for over 35 years. Mr. Howe is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall and the Board of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 61.08 - 0.52%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 114.25 + 2.50%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.15 + 10.58%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.54 - 0.04%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What ocean liner is shown in the background of the opening scene of the movie West Side Story?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
What was the name of the cruise ship that was was overtaken by terrorists in 1985? One passenger was killed in the incident. Also, what was her original name?

Answer - The ship was the Achille Lauro, formerly the Dutch colonial liner Willem Ruys.
courtesy of venicedevil@hotmail.com


Cruise News - November 26, 2018

Symphony of the Seas Officially Named By First Ever Godfamily
It’s official, Miami’s newest ship has come in. Royal Caribbean International celebrated the homecoming of the world’s largest cruise ship with the naming ceremony of Symphony of the Seas, the 25th ship in the global cruise line’s impressive fleet. Symphony was named by Royal Caribbean’s first-ever Godfamily, actors Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, who along with 23-month-old son Ocean, were on hand to christen the ship and bestow a blessing of safekeeping over her crew and guests. Having celebrated many happy occasions onboard the cruise line’s Oasis Class ships, the naming ceremony marks the avid Royal Caribbean fans’ biggest adventure yet with the cruise line.

With almost 1,000 guests in attendance, Symphony of the Seas was christened while dockside at the cruise line’s new state-of-the-art Terminal A at PortMiami, making for the largest naming ceremony in Royal Caribbean’s history. The customary event was infused with modern day elements – ranging from an electronic violinist who serenaded the crowd throughout the ceremony, to a stunning sail away performance by nearly 400 choreographed drones – and also incorporated a number of local Miami touches. Florida International University’s Marching Band kicked off the celebration, while students from Miami Southridge Senior High headlined the occasion on stage with a rousing drumline performance. Through Royal Caribbean’s partnership with the GRAMMY Museum, Miami Southridge Senior High was one of 20 high schools within the Miami-Dade County Public School District that received a Royal Caribbean-funded grant through the GRAMMY Museum Signature Schools program, which supports music education programs in underserved high schools.

Joining sister ship Allure of the Seas at Royal Caribbean’s state-of-the-art Terminal A, Symphony will sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean with featured visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay, the global cruise line’s newly revealed private destination in The Bahamas. The 170,000-square-foot Terminal A, nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami,’ is the most innovative cruise facility in the U.S. with an expected $500 million in revenue and addition of 4,000 jobs to Miami-Dade County. It is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will welcome at least 1.8 million guests at PortMiami, representing no less than 30 percent of the port’s projected traveler traffic. For more information about Symphony, visit RoyalCaribbean.com/SymphonyoftheSeas.

Symphony brings to life every family’s vacation dreams with a bold lineup of energy-filled, heart-pumping experiences. The new ship offers the chance to go head-to-head in a glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure, take the plunge down the Ultimate Abyss – the tallest slide at sea towering 10 stories high – or soak up some sun after getting drenched on epic waterslides and FlowRider surf simulators. After a day at play, families can dine at a variety of venues that will keep taste buds tingling, including Hooked Seafood, Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade and El Loco Fresh for Mexican street-food fare, all before picking up the sweetest of treats at Sugar Beach. Adding to the excitement is the Ultimate Family Suite, a one-of-a-kind, two-story home away from home designed for both the young and young at heart, where families can enjoy a signature in-suite slide, private cinema, building block wall, Luckey Climber vertical maze for kids and whirlpool, among other premium services and amenities.

Virgin Voyages Reveals Miami Terminal
Virgin Voyages announced this week that it will be building its own terminal for their first ship, Scarlet Lady.

In the announcement, Virgin Voyages said that from the decor of the bars to every detail of the cabins, they have partnered with a creative collective of top-notch designers from around the globe to craft our Scarlet Lady. When it came to the Virgin Voyages terminal, they said they decided to look for top-notch talent in thir very own backyard.

Pending the Board of County Commission’s approval of the MOU for construction of a new cruise facility, the new terminal (and future home) is planned for PortMiami. Seeing how the cruise line will be setting up shop in the heart of Biscayne Bay, they wanted to be sure they worked with a firm that understood how to highlight and honor the Magic City.

That's why they said they joined forces with Miami-based architecture and design firm Arquitectonica, the visionaries behind projects such as the American Airlines Arena in Downtown Miami, Brickell City Centre Complex in Brickell and the Miami City Ballet in South Beach.

According to Virgin the announcement, "Not only are they experts in building structures equipped for tropical elements like sizzling sun, splashing salt and dizzying winds. More importantly, they understand what it means to create something truly, unequivocally and wholeheartedly, “Miami.”"

The cruise line said that its goal with the terminal is to highlight and emphasize those things people love about Miami and give a nod to the past in thier unique Virgin way. For years visitors have been attracted by the city's sun-soaked beaches, invigorating atmosphere and gorgeous, iconic sights.

No sight more recognized than the Royal Palm Tree lounging carefree amidst a backdrop of captivating Art Deco design. These palm trees, tall and regal, relaxed yet unwavering, were the inspiration for the structure that will become our sanctuary in the bustling bay.

To pay homage to these venerable palms, the cruisee line said wanted to design something that will make every sailor feel like they’re having an authentic Miami experience from the moment they catch a glimpse of our mesmerizing terminal. In planning to bring life to a slab of hot concrete overlooking the beautiful downtown cityscape, Arquitectonica decided sailors could use a little shade before boarding the scintillating Scarlet Lady.

The terminal’s rooftop is designed to resemble a palm tree grove with pockets that allow natural light to flow into the building by day, and gorgeous beams to light up the iconic Virgin Voyages logo (as well as the Miami sky) by night, allowing the future home to shine brightly.

The two-story storm-proof glass facility will be replete with lush landscaping giving the terminal a plaza-like feel with designated areas for VIP drop-offs, as well as ride-sharing and provisioning — all designed to provide a seamless shore to ship experience.

According to Virgin Voyages, As soon as sailors begin to cross the bridge onto the port’s planned future home on Dodge Island, it will be impossible to look away from the elegantly crafted structures that blend seamlessly to form a canopy of permanent palm trees anyone can enjoy. Our own Virgin Voyages palm grove.

MSC Cuts Steel for MSC Seashore
MSC Cruises and Fincantieri announced this week that it has cut the first steel of MSC Seashore, the first of two MSC Cruises Seaside EVO ships currently on order at Fincantieri. At a ceremony held at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Bono launched the cutting of the first steel of this new ship.

Coming into service in Spring 2021, the 169,400 GT MSC Seashore will be the first in its kind, further enriching MSC Cruises’ Seaside Class of ships with new cutting edge features including: an additional lounge at the aft part; a further enhanced MSC Yacht Club covering three forward decks; specialty restaurants at the level of the promenade at deck 8 for dining al fresco whilst being close to the sea; a larger number of whirlpools across the ship; and 200 additional cabins as well as even more generous public spaces. Moreover, the Seaside EVO ships will be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including a selective catalytic reduction system; exhaust gas cleaning technology; state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems; advanced water treatment systems; and an advanced energy and heat recovery system, as well as other technology and measures to further increase energy efficiency.

MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “With the Seaside Class, we introduced to the market one of the more innovative cruise ship prototypes all-around – our fifth out of six to-date – thus setting a new industry standard for others to follow. Today, only one year after MSC Seaside entered into service, we are taking this award-winning concept to the next level by starting the construction of a further evolved and even richer ship. MSC Seashore is an example of our commitment to bringing the most innovative and technologically-advanced tonnage to the sea, and will be bestowed with the latest and best maritime and environmental technology available.”

The CEO of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono, stated: “The design of this ship is the perfect symbol of what Fincantieri has become and of what the Group today represents on the international market scene and at an overall industrial level. MSC Seashore is designed to impress: first of all due to her size, she will be by far the largest ship ever built in Italy, allowing us to further increase our management standards, but even for her top-class technological level. She is a prototype that we developed based on a one-of-a-kind and hugely successful platform as Seaside is demonstrating to be”. Bono then concluded: “Over and above that, we are very proud to contribute to the growth of MSC Cruises, a company which is emerging as one of the major market players”.

Today’s event marked another milestone in MSC Cruises’ industry-unprecedented 10-year development plan for 17 additional new mega ships, with four new ships currently under construction at the same time. MSC Seashore is the seventh ship to be built under this plan and will become the 19th ship MSC Cruises has built since its inception in 2003. Additionally, the coming into service of the first Seaside EVO ship will take innovation in cruise ship building to yet another level of excellence, much like the introduction of the original Seaside prototype has set a new standard for the industry to follow.

MSC Seashore is inspired by MSC Cruises’ vision for cruising in warm waters and balmy weather, in a unique setting. She will follow the bold and innovative design of the Seaside Class, with a wrap-around promenade on Deck 8, offering guests a myriad of choices for outside dining and relaxing. Her name, much like for her predecessors MSC Seaside and MSC Seaview, is meant to reflect this new way of enjoying the cruising experience – first introduced on MSC Cruises’ Seaside Class – by bringing guests closest to the sea to enjoy that also while at sea.

In addition to offering even more space and an even richer experience, Seaside EVO ships will have greater dimensions, even more generous public spaces, more cabins, a larger MC Yacht Club, and will be hosting a total of up to 5,632 guests.

MSC Seashore will be joined merely 18 months later by a second Seaside EVO ship in autumn 2022.

Technical ship specs:

• Length/beam/height: 1,112 ft./135 ft./243 ft.

• Gross tonnage: 169,400 GT

• Guests: 5,632

• Crew: 1,648

• Guest staterooms: 2,270

• Maximum speed: 21.8 knots

• Delivery date: spring 2021

• 19th cruise ship to join MSC Cruises’ fleet since its inception in 2003

• First extended version of the Seaside Class

• Man hours required to construct the ship: over 10 million

• Number of Fincantieri employees involved at the yard – during construction: up to 4,000

Carnival Panorama to Feature First Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park and Challenge Zone at Sea
When Carnival Panorama debuts in December 2019, it will introduce the first-ever indoor trampoline park and challenge zone at sea, in partnership with industry leader, Sky Zone.

Located on Decks 6 and 7, the expansive two-deck-high facility encompasses more than 3,000 square feet, providing high-flying fun for guests of all ages across a 12-lane trampoline court. Adjacent to the trampoline court will be a challenge zone equipped with a climbing wall, balance/jousting beam, Sky Ladder climbing apparatus and Tug of War.

Sky Zone will serve as the venue for a variety of activities that appeal to both the young and young at heart, including gravity-defying dodgeball games and above-the-rim basketball experiences where guests can become slam-dunk stars.

Other activities include nighttime blacklight glow parties, as well as toddler time sessions where young cruisers and their families can play with oversized soft blocks and participate in the bouncy fun. There will be various fitness activities planned for all levels from beginning to advanced to get the whole family moving. Additional details on Carnival Panorama’s Sky Zone will be announced in the near future.

Sky Zone is the originator in creating innovative ways to play with over 200 parks across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, the United Kingdom, Norway, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Columbia.

Sky Zone is one of many family-friendly amenities that will be featured on Carnival Panorama when it debuts in Long Beach next year, becoming the first new Carnival ship to be homeported on the West Coast in 20 years.

The 133,500-ton ship will also feature a massive WaterWorks aqua park, extra-roomy Family Harbor staterooms, a suspended ropes course, the SkyRide aerial attraction and Seuss at Sea, an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.

Carnival Panorama is set to debut Dec. 11, 2019, with a three-day inaugural cruise followed by the launch of year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera service on Dec. 14.

Norwegian Cruise Line Enhances Free at Sea Program with the Addition Of Free and Reduced Airfare
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in cruise travel, today announced the addition of free and reduced airfare to its long-standing Free at Sea program, providing guests with even more freedom, flexibility and value to design their ideal cruise vacation.

With over 200 airports across the U.S., Canada and Europe included, guests can take advantage of free or reduced roundtrip airfare for up to two guests when flying to some of Norwegian Cruise Line’s most popular homeports including Barcelona, Honolulu, Miami and Seattle.

In addition to airfare, guests can select beverage packages, shore excursion credits, specialty dining packages, internet packages and Norwegian’s Friends & Family Sail Free initiative, which enables the third and fourth guests in a stateroom to sail complimentary.

With Norwegian’s Free at Sea program, cruisers who book a studio or inside stateroom will receive one free option; those who book an ocean view, balcony or mini-suite stateroom will receive three free options; and guests in Concierge class and The Haven by Norwegian will receive all six options.

“Not only are we known for offering guests the freedom and flexibility to cruise how and when they want, but we are also recognized as one of the most inclusive vacation experiences available,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “With the addition of free and reduced airfare to Free at Sea, we continue to give guests even more reasons to vacation with us.”

Available for a limited time, the free and reduced airfare is assessible on over half of the cruise line’s sailings and includes roundtrip economy class airfare from select airports.

Holland America Line Announces 2019 Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruises
Following the success of the 2018 series, Holland America Line is announcing dates for the 2019 Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruises that showcase the talents of the members of its esteemed Culinary Council, Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff and the line's Chateau Ste. Michelle winemaker partners. The Culinary Council comprises a collection of elite international celebrity chefs who bring global influence to every dining venue across Holland America Line's fleet of premium ships.

The Culinary Council is led by Holland America Line's Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, who is joined by international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner, Andy Matsuda, Ethan Stowell and Jacques Torres. James Suckling, world-renowned wine critic and Holland America Line's wine curator, has created an extensive new wine list featured on all ships in the premium fleet. The cruise line also collaborates with Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff on its cocktail program and vintners from its home state of Washington, including Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, which helped develop the BLEND wine experience on board Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam.

"Our 2018 Food and Beverage Aficionado Cruises were extremely successful, with every demonstration standing-room only and each specialty dinner sold out, so we're thrilled to bring this program back in 2019," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Partnering with such a wealth of talented culinary and beverage experts makes Holland America Line unique in the cruise industry, and we're in an incredible position of giving our guests authentic experiences and unprecedented access to these well-known personalities."

During each Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruise, guests will have the opportunity to attend cooking, cocktail or wine demonstrations; get to know the experts at presentations; meet them at photo opportunities; and join an intimate, reservation-only dinner in the Pinnacle Grill.

Guests who wish to make reservations for the specialty dinner can contact Holland America Line's Ship Services Department upon booking to secure their spot.

The 2019 schedule of Food & Beverage Aficionado Cruises includes:

Rudi Sodamin, Culinary Council Chairman
Sodamin was born in Austria and trained in France. The Master Chef recently released his latest culinary masterpiece, an art table book called "Food Faces" featuring more than 150 images of edible creations that display a whimsical spectrum of human emotion. His "Food Faces" have also been immortalized on Bernardaud porcelain and are on display in Rudi's Sel de Mer, a sea brasserie available on all Holland America Line ships. Sodamin's innovative approach has made him the most decorated chef on the world's oceans.

Nieuw Statendam, 7-Day Eastern Caribbean, Feb. 17, 2019, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Veendam, 7-Day Eastern Caribbean, Nov. 13, 2019, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale
David Burke
Burke is a restaurateur, cookbook author, inventor and consultant at ESquared Hospitality, which owns and operates the BLT restaurant brand. He has been featured on "Iron Chef America" and "Top Chef Masters." He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked with legendary chefs in France and New York.

Rotterdam, 7-Day Western Caribbean, March 3, 2019, roundtrip Tampa, Florida
Veendam, 7-Day Canada & New England, Sept. 7, 2019, Boston, Massachusetts, to Montréal, Québec, Canada
Andy Matsuda
The Japanese-born Matsuda is at the forefront of sushi trends and techniques. At Matsuda's Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles, California, he teaches aspiring chefs and professionals about sushi and Japanese cuisine.

Nieuw Statendam, 7-Day Eastern Caribbean, March 3, 2019, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale
Eurodam, 7-Day Mexican Riviera, Oct. 19, 2019, roundtrip San Diego, California
Ethan Stowell
With an impressive roster of highly acclaimed restaurants, Stowell has helped to change the face of the Seattle food scene. He was named one of the Best New Chefs in America by FOOD & WINE magazine in 2008 and chosen as one of the Best New Chef All-Stars in 2013.

Eurodam, 7-Day Alaskan Explorer, May 11, 2019, roundtrip Seattle, Washington Noordam, 7-Day Alaska Glacier Discovery, July 21, 2019, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to Seward, Alaska Jacques Torres
A French-trained Master Chef and artisan chocolatier, Torres is a James Beard award winner. After rising to executive pastry chef at New York's legendary Le Cirque, he opened a chocolate factory and stores throughout New York. Torres is co-hosting the Netflix culinary show "Nailed It" with Nicole Byer.

Zaandam, 7-Day Canada & New England Discovery, June 1, 2019, Montréal to Boston
Veendam, 7-Day Canada & New England Discovery, Sept. 28, 2019, Montréal to Boston
Dale DeGroff
DeGroff received the James Beard Award for Wine & Spirits, was inducted into the prestigious James Beard Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America in 2015 and is author of "The Essential Cocktail" and "The Craft of the Cocktail." He is a partner in the award-winning Beverage Alcohol Resource bar-training program and founding president of the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Zuiderdam, 11-Day Panama Canal Sunfarer, April 10, 2019, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale
Westerdam, 7-Day Alaska Glacier Discovery, Aug. 4, 2019, Seward to Vancouver
Top Vintners Share Their Love of Wine
The spotlight is on wine — and its fascinating journey from vine to table — on select Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam itineraries throughout 2019. On each of these special cruises, a different Chateau Ste. Michelle expert will join the onboard vinologist for several one-hour sessions each day at BLEND by Chateau Ste. Michelle. They'll also be present for the ship's special Cellar Master's Dinner at the Culinary Arts Center, where the accent will be on perfect wine and food pairings. There is a modest fee for this dinner.

BLEND — the only purpose-built wine-blending venue at sea — has a tasting table that accommodates 10 guests who can create their own blend from a selection of five barrels of single-vineyard red wine. In addition to participating in the blending process, guests also will learn about wine from each wine expert. BLEND has a small fee.

Al Portney, Vice President, International Sales
Portney is a veteran of the wine industry with 43 years of experience. He became vice president, international sales, for Chateau Ste. Michelle in 2006 after running his own company. Portney travels more than 200 days a year assisting the many people representing the wines of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and their associated wineries.

Nieuw Statendam, 14-Day Azores & Normandy Expedition, April 21, 2019, Fort Lauderdale to Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cary Kloster, Vice President, Group Brand Director
Kloster joined Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in August of 2005 as Marketing Manager supporting Chateau Ste. Michelle and Domain Ste. Michelle brands. She has worked in roles touching all of the Washington brands, including Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14 Hands, Columbia Crest, Spring Valley Vineyard, Northstar and Col Solare.

Nieuw Statendam, 7-Day Vikings Saga, Aug. 18, 2019, roundtrip Amsterdam
Paul Asikainen, National Wine Educator
As National Wine Educator for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Asikainen is responsible for a wide breadth of educational activities representing the entire portfolio of domestic and import wines. Asikainen is certified through the Court of Master Sommeliers and Society of Wine Educators.

Nieuw Statendam, 7-Day Tropical Caribbean, Nov. 24, 2019, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale
Tristan Butterfield, Winemaking
As an enologist, Butterfield describes his role as "caretaker" of the red wines at Chateau Ste. Michelle's Canoe Ridge Estate Winery in Paterson, Washington. The winery houses over 85,000 oak barrels filled with wine from Washington state. He keeps track and monitors each lot of wine from harvest to bottle.

Nieuw Statendam, 7-Day Tropical Caribbean, Dec. 15, 2019, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale
Natalie Guillen, Marketing Manager
Guillen develops and supports the annual marketing plans and cross-functional project management for Chateau Ste. Michelle, Eroica and Anew brands. Guillen is a long-time wine enthusiast and loves experiencing new cultures, cuisine and people. Her favorite travel destinations are wineries and vineyards around the world.

Koningsdam, 10-Day Souther
n Caribbean, Feb. 3, 2019, roundtrip Fort Lauderdale
Tracey Keller, Winemaking President and winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Keller oversees the winery operations and collaborates with her winemaking team to develop blends and tastes for the acclaimed winery.

Koningsdam, 11-Day Ancient Empires, June 1, 2019, roundtrip Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Kara Koh, Winemaking
Koh is assistant winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle and has been with the winery for more than 20 years, working in most aspects of the business. Koh regularly shares her knowledge and experience at tastings and wine-pairing meals.

Koningsdam, 13-Day Mediterranean Legends, June 24, 2019, roundtrip Civitavecchia (Rome)
Brett Scallan, Senior Vice President, Marketing
Scallan joined Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in September 2000 as Director of Marketing for Columbia Crest Winery. Prior to his current role, he served as vice president of domestic brands and vice president group brand director, with responsibilities including innovation.

Koningsdam, 12-Day Mediterranean Legends, July 29, 2019, roundtrip Civitavecchia (Rome)
Thom Horsey, Wine Educator
As National Wine Educator for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Horsey is responsible for a variety of educational activities representing the entire portfolio of wines. Horsey is a 35-year veteran of the wine industry and has conducted more than 2,000 seminars on all aspects of wine.

Nieuw Statendam, 14-Day Premiere Voyage, Dec. 5, 2018, Transatlantic crossing from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, to Fort Lauderdale
Lacey Steffey, Winemaking
Steffey is the assistant traveling winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle and works with partner facilities in Washington to ensure quality with daily tastings and assesses grape maturity.

Nieuw Statendam, 7-Day Vikings Sagas, May 5, 2019, roundtrip Amsterdam
Linda Chauncey, Director of Education
With more than 30 years' experience in the wine and culinary industry, Chauncey oversees Chateau Ste. Michelle's new Visitor Center and corporate education program, and creates a wide array of winetasting experiences for the more than 300,000 guests who visit the winery each year.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 61.4 + 3.98%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 111.46 + 4.15%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.04 - 3.70%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.56 + 4.65%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the name of the cruise ship that was was overtaken by terrorists in 1985? One passenger was killed in the incident. Also, what was her original name?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Name the former liners that were sold to the Iranian government for use as accommodation ships in the 1970's?

Answer - The ships were Michelagelo & Raffaello which sailed for Italia Navigazione
courtesy of venicedevil@hotmail.com


Cruise News - November 19, 2018

Carnival Cruise Line Marks Start Of Construction Of Its Newest And Largest Ship
Carnival Cruise Line reaffirmed its place as the leader of innovation in the U.S. cruise industry today as the first steel was cut for the line's newest class of ship and the new livery was revealed for the 180,000-ton XL vessel that will be the first-ever ship operating in North America to use liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The traditional steel-cutting ceremony held at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Turku, Finland, signified the official start of construction of the largest Carnival cruise ship ever constructed, to be delivered in 2020. A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line's founding.

At the ceremony, the company also revealed a dramatic new red, white and blue hull design that celebrates its legacy as America's Cruise Line and pays homage to maritime tradition. Developed by New York-based Bluarch Architecture, the design builds upon the company's iconic color scheme that has made Carnival one of the most recognizable brands in travel and is highlighted by a stately navy blue hull inspired by officers' uniforms along with vibrant red and white accents running the entire length of the 1,130-foot-long ship.

"This new ship promises to be truly special, from its groundbreaking technology and one-of-a-kind features to its distinctive livery and hull design that is both timeless and forward-thinking while paying tribute to our nearly 50-year history of making wonderful vacation memories for our guests," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Following the steel-cutting ceremony, construction began on the 5,200-plus lower berth ship which will offer a variety of never-before-seen innovations and will be the first North American-based cruise ship to be powered by LNG, part of Carnival Corporation's "green cruising" design platform.

"The start of construction of this amazing ship is a historic day for our company as we are laying the foundation for an unparalleled seagoing vacation experience that will be like no other and take our cruise offerings to the next level," Duffy said.

"We are extremely pleased to work together with Carnival on this large and highly innovative ship. With the first steel cutting, our efforts in designing the hull, features and interior of the ship start to take shape. We are also very proud to build the first-ever LNG powered cruise ship for North American market, making this state-of-the-art green technology a reality," commented Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.

As previously announced, the as-yet-unnamed ship will operate from Port Canaveral, Fla., beginning in 2020. The ship's name is scheduled to be revealed in early December. Details on the ship's inaugural season are planned to be announced in January, with information on the vessel's vast array of exciting culinary, beverage and entertainment options to be revealed later in 2019.

Celebrity Edge Arrives At Her New Home Port
Celebrity Edge has officially arrived at her new home – Port Everglades' Terminal 25 (T25) in Hollywood, Fla. – following the ship's first-ever, 15-day transatlantic crossing.

Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Richard D. Fain, said: "The arrival of Celebrity Edge today book-ends a major chapter in the growth of Celebrity Cruises. It's the culmination of years of dreaming, designing and dedication to bring this magnificent ship to life. A new era is truly upon us."

Viewing this momentous occasion from the bridge of Celebrity Edge with Fain, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, added: "The completion of her first-ever transatlantic crossing and arrival at T25 marks such a historic moment for Celebrity Cruises. This has been more than four years in the making. The collaboration and effort between teams across the world all comes together in this incredible moment. I can think of no better place to be than with Captain Costas and the crew of Celebrity Edge knowing that we are sailing into the future, literally and figuratively, with this beautiful ship."

Adorning the decks as Celebrity Edge entered the channel for the first time, more than 1,400 excited crew members waved to a sea of shoreside colleagues who gathered to welcome the ship and her crew to their new home at an exclusive welcome event hosted at the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center — a fitting debut for Celebrity's first new ship in six years and the first of a new class in more than a decade.

After the arrival of Celebrity Edge at T25, Lutoff-Perlo and Fain then hosted a grand opening ceremony in the revolutionary new terminal. Attended by key brand executives and esteemed Broward County and City of Hollywood officials, the dramatic ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official grand opening of the first terminal designed exclusively for the Celebrity brand, dubbed the new home of modern luxury.

Brought to life in collaboration with Broward County's Port Everglades, Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc. and Moss Construction, T25 melds a stunning, warmly inviting design with unique technology, such as Expedited Arrival, which will make the check-in process absolutely seamless, as well as an interactive light wall art installation. T25 will also offer The Retreat guests a singular experience along the path to The Retreat, with an exclusive lounge, elevator lobbies, screening areas and even a private rooftop terrace.

Celebrity Edge embarked on the more-than 4,000-mile transatlantic voyage from the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, on November 4, 2018, with more than 1,400 crew members on board. Along the way, the cutting-edge new ship visited ports in both Azores, Portugal, and Freeport, Bahamas.

Celebrity Edge begins her inaugural season sailing alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruise itineraries, with her Maiden Western Caribbean voyage departing on December 9, 2018, and her Maiden Eastern Caribbean voyage departing on December 16, 2018. Then, in spring of 2019, Celebrity Edge crosses the Atlantic again to offer guests stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of seven- to 11-night sailings visiting iconic cities, including Barcelona and Rome.

Hurtigruten Announces Plans To Power Fleet With Dead Fish
Rotten fish as a ship's fuel? Norwegian expedition cruise line Hurtigruten says yes. With a growing fleet of 17 ships, Hurtigruten has invested heavily in green technology such as battery solutions and it now plans to fuel cruise ships with liquefied biogas (LBG) – fossil-free, renewable gas produced from dead fish and other organic waste.

"What other see as a problem, we see as a resource and a solution," says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. "By introducing biogas as fuel for cruise ships, Hurtigruten will be the first cruise company to power ships with fossil-free fuel."

Renewable biogas is a clean source of energy that is already used as fuel in small parts of the transportation sector, especially in buses. Northern Europe and Norway, with large fishery and forestry sectors that produce a steady volume of organic waste, have a unique opportunity to become world leader in biogas production.

By 2021, Hurtigruten plans to operate at least six of its ships on a combination of biogas, LNG and large battery packs.

"While competitors are running on cheap, polluting heavy fuel oil, our ships will literally be powered by nature," says Skjeldam. "Biogas is the greenest fuel in shipping, and will be a huge advantage for the environment. We would love other cruise companies to follow."

After celebrating its 125-year anniversary by being the first cruise line to ban single-use plastic, 2019 will mark two green milestones for Hurtigruten:

Introduction of the world's first battery-hybrid powered cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, custom built for sustainable operations in some of the world's most pristine waters such as Antarctica.

The start of a large-scale green upgrade project, replacing traditional diesel propulsion with battery packs and gas engines on several Hurtigruten ships.

In addition to liquified natural gas (LNG), these ships will also be the first cruise ships in the world to run on liquified biogas (LBG).

Hurtigruten is currently building three hybrid powered expedition cruise ships at Norway's Kleven Shipyard. MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and a third, unnamed, sister will be delivered in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Norwegian Bliss Arriving to Miami for Winter Season
Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest ship, Norwegian Bliss, makes her way to Miami to offer Eastern Caribbean cruises beginning Nov.17, 2018.

She will offer seven-day cruises to the Eastern Caribbean with calls to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas through Mar. 30, 2019. In April, she’ll cross the Panama Canal, returning to Los Angeles for select sailings to the Mexican Riviera before moving to Seattle to meet her sister ship, Norwegian Joy, who will make her U.S. debut on Apr. 25, 2019.

“Norwegian Bliss’s inaugural season surpassed anything we could have imagined, with guests and travel partners alike championing her innovation and beauty,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Miami has long been home to Norwegian Cruise Line, and we are especially excited to bring Norwegian Bliss, our latest ship, and one of our most innovative vessels, to the East Coast for a winter of Caribbean cruising.”

Following a record-setting inaugural season of Alaska cruises from Seattle and a month-long period of voyages to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, Norwegian Bliss continues to break records from port-to-port. She is the largest ship to be christened in Seattle, homeport in Los Angeles and call to Vancouver and San Francisco. Norwegian Bliss is also the largest cruise ship to traverse the Panama Canal from both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Cunard Announces New Partnership with the English National Ballet
Luxury cruise line Cunard is proud to announce an new partnership with the prestigious English National Ballet for the first-ever "Dance the Atlantic" Transatlantic Crossing on board flagship Queen Mary 2, sailing from Southampton to New York, August 11-18, 2019 (M924).

Guests on the seven-night Crossing will have the opportunity to meet six lead dancers from the British ballet company, including Lead Principal Erina Takahashi and First Soloist James Streeter. Guests will also have the unique opportunity to watch the dancers' morning ballet class and drop-in on afternoon rehearsals. A highlight of the voyage will be spectacular performances in the ship's Royal Court Theater, including extracts from the enthralling all-time classic Swan Lake, the poignant contemporary work Dust and the stunningly visual Le Corsaire - demonstrating the huge breadth of the company's repertoire.

"We are so excited to have the English National Ballet onboard Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in 2019," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "For the first time ever, guests will be able to interact with the English National Ballet on the ocean with world-class performances and intimate experiences that will only further enhance the elegance and romance of the Cunard Transatlantic Crossing."

In another first, dance workshops will run daily throughout the week at sea, offering a special opportunity for guests to learn directly from English National Ballet associates. There will also be Insights talks, offering a fascinating understanding of the dedication and exhilaration of the dancer's life, along with dance-themed films and documentaries shown throughout the voyage.

"English National Ballet is thrilled to be partnering with Cunard on this exciting voyage," said Patrick Harrison, executive director of the English National Ballet. "Guests will get to experience the joy of ballet including performances and glimpses of behind-the-scenes. We're very much looking forward to sharing our art form with the guests on board Queen Mary 2."

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 59.05 + 2.22%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 107.02 + 2.25%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.08 - 2.70%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.72 + 1.44%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former liners that were sold to the Iranian government for use as accommodation ships in the 1970's?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which famous former liner served as James Bond's headquarters in the film "The Man with the Golden Gun"?

Answer - The answer to this weeks question is the Queen Elizabeth I which was lying in Hong Kong harbor at the time when it caught fire and sank but was partially visable above the surface.
courtesy of David E. Justice


Cruise News - November 12, 2018

Celebrity Edge Embarks On 4,000-Mile Journey To Her New Home
All eyes are on Celebrity Edge as she makes her way to the new home of modern luxury, Terminal 25 (T25), located at Port Everglades in Hollywood, Fla. Slated for arrival on Monday, November 19, 2018, the groundbreaking new ship set sail from the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, on Sunday, November 4, 2018, for her first transatlantic voyage.

As of the morning of November 6, 2018, Celebrity Edge was 3,300 nautical miles from her destination, positioned at 37 degrees 58 minutes north latitude and 17 degrees 9 minutes west longitude. On board, more than 1,400 excited crew members and many others are passionately at work putting the finishing touches on this magnificent ship, making sure that every detail is absolutely perfect, every surface sparkles, and every routine is mastered – before a single guest ever steps aboard.

Celebrity Edge's inaugural season will be spent sailing alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruise itineraries, with her Maiden Western Caribbean voyage departing on December 9, 2018, and her Maiden Eastern Caribbean voyage departing on December 16, 2018. Then, in spring of 2019, Celebrity Edge crosses the Atlantic again to offer guests stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of seven- to 11-night sailings visiting iconic cities, including Barcelona and Rome.

Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas Makes U.S. Debut
Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas, the new sound of adventure, made her highly anticipated debut to the cruise capital of the world today, forever changing the status quo on vacations for adventure-seekers everywhere. Fresh from her inaugural Europe season, the world’s largest cruise ship sailed into her permanent, year-round home at Royal Caribbean’s new, state-of-the-art Terminal A at PortMiami, the largest cruise terminal in the U.S.

“Symphony takes family vacationing to a whole new level with energy and options never before found in one place. This ship is the perfect blend of our greatest hits we know guests love and a lineup of vibrant, new restaurants, activities and unparalleled entertainment – all purposefully designed around vacationers’ preferences.” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “With her U.S. homecoming this week, Symphony is changing the game for how travelers of all ages vacation on our biggest and boldest adventure yet.”

The ultimate family vacation, Symphony of the Seas will sail 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami beginning Saturday, Nov. 17, and will add visits to the cruise line’s new private island destination in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, opening May 2019. Featured in TIME magazine’s first annual “World’s Greatest Places” list (Sept. 2018), Symphony features a next-level collection of new experiences including:

• The two-story Ultimate Family Suite for eight guests includes an in-suite slide, air hockey table, building block wall and “Royal Genie” concierge

• The high-energy Boardwalk, with activities for the whole family, offers gameday favorites at Playmaker’s Sports Bar & Arcade, the Sugar Beach specialty candy and ice cream shop, face painting, caricature artists, live music and more

• New restaurants, including Hooked Seafood with fresh, New England-style favorites, and made-to-order Mexican “street fare” at El Loco Fresh

• A glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure called Battle for Planet Z

• An always-evolving Royal Caribbean app, designed to be a gamechanger for the guest experience, enables expedited arrival, more personalization and interactive onboard features

Symphony of the Seas also features a playlist of the greatest hits that Royal Caribbean guests know and love from the iconic Oasis Class ships:

• The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea, a 10-story test of courage

• The Perfect Storm, a trio of thrilling multistory waterslides named Cyclone, Typhoon and Supercell

• Two FlowRider surf simulators, where adventurers can hang ten

• Twin rock-climbing walls, standing at 40 feet tall and boasting stunning sea views

• A zip line nine decks high, speeding riders 82 feet across an open-air atrium

• AquaTheater, an open-air theater with jaw-dropping, high-diving acrobatic and aquatic performances set at the deepest pool at sea

• Central Park, a green sanctuary lush with more than 20,000 living plants and trees.

The official naming ceremony for Symphony of the Seas will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15, hosted by the industry’s first-ever Godfamily – actors and avid Royal Caribbean fans Alexa and Carlos PenaVega, along with their toddler son Ocean.

The 25th ship in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Symphony of the Seas encompasses 228,081 gross registered tons, measures 238 feet tall and spans 1,188 feet in length. Each week, Symphony will welcome 5,518 guests at double occupancy in 2,759 staterooms, including 28 additional balcony rooms that overlook the ocean or the ship’s signature Boardwalk neighborhood.

Carnival Radiance's 2020 Inaugural Season To Include Voyages To Europe, Bermuda, Canada/New England And Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Line today announced the diverse inaugural schedule for the totally transformed Carnival Radiance, including 9- to 13-day European voyages, the line's first to Cuba from New York and Norfolk, four- to nine-day sailings to the Caribbean, Canada/New England from New York, and a winter season of voyages to the Caribbean and Cuba from Port Canaveral, Fla.

Additionally, the company revealed details of Carnival Sunrise's 2020 schedule, including an expanded series of New York to Cuba cruises, as well as four- to nine-day voyages to the Caribbean from New York and Norfolk, Va.

Following a $200 million dry dock that will take place in Cadiz, Spain, Carnival Radiance will debut April 29, 2020, with a 10-day Mediterranean sailing from Barcelona followed by nine-and 12-day departures visiting top destinations throughout the region, including Italy, France, Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain. The ship will then embark on a 13-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York June 11-24, 2020, positioning the vessel for its inaugural season in the Big Apple.

Once in New York, Carnival Radiance will offer a series of four- and six-day Bermuda cruises as well as a four-day cruise to Saint John, New Brunswick,eight-day eastern Caribbean voyages and the line's first Cuba cruises from New York - nine-day sailings that include a full-day and overnight stay in Havana and two Bahamian ports of call. The New York program will conclude with a series of Canada/New England voyages featuring stops in Boston, Portland, Saint John, and Halifax.

The ship will also offer four five- to seven-day voyages from Norfolk in October and November 2020, including the line's first Cuba cruises from that port. The week-long Cuba cruises will feature an extended stop in the capital of Havana along with visits to two tropical Bahamian ports. There will also be a five-day Bahamas cruise and a six-day cruise visiting three of the country's most popular destinations, including the private island of Half Moon Cay.

Following the cruises from the Northeast, Carnival Radiance will reposition to Port Canaveral, Fla., to operate a winter schedule of six- to eight-day voyages to the Caribbean and Cuba beginning Nov. 8, 2020. The program includes six-day voyages featuring a day-long visit and overnight call in Havana and two Bahamian ports; a six-day sailing to Grand Turk, Amber Cove, Dominican Republic and Nassau, The Bahamas; and seven-and eight-day Caribbean voyages visiting some of the region's most popular and beautiful islands, including Aruba, Curacao, St. Kitts and Grand Turk.

Building upon the popularity of short Bermuda cruises introduced on Carnival Horizon, Carnival Sunrise will offer a series of "long weekend" getaways to Bermuda as well as longer length Caribbean voyages and cruises to Cuba from the Big Apple beginning May 21, 2020.

The program includes eight, nine-day voyages to Cuba featuring a full day and overnight call in Havana along with stops at the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay and Nassau. Eight, four-day "long weekend" voyages to Bermuda will also be offered, departing Thursdays and returning Mondays and spending a full day on the island. Seven, eight-day voyages visiting beautiful ports in the Caribbean and Bahamas will be offered as well. The program concludes with a 12-day Carnival Journeys partial Panama Canal transit from New York to Fort Lauderdale Oct. 19-31, 2020.

Carnival Sunrise will also sail from Norfolk, Va., in May 2020, offering a pair of five-day cruises to Nassau and Freeport, along with a three-port, six-day voyage featuring Half Moon Cay, Nassau, and Freeport.

Carnival Sunrise and Carnival Radiance will each undergo extensive dry docks in 2019 and 2020, respectively, that will add an array of exciting food, beverage and entertainment choices. New culinary and beverage offerings will include Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, a classic American steakhouse called Fahrenheit 555, and the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub. Carnival Radiance will also feature Big Chicken, a seagoing version of a landside restaurant operated by the line's Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal.

Holland America Line Debuts New Club Orange Program With Exclusive Benefits and Premium Amenities
Holland America Line is introducing the unique Club Orange program that provides exclusive benefits and amenities to guests looking to elevate their cruise experience. From a private dining venue to priority services and a dedicated concierge hotline, Club Orange allows guests to opt in to extra privileges that are available to a limited number of guests on each cruise.

Club Orange will be included for guests in Neptune and Pinnacle Suite categories, and the program will be available to purchase for a small number of non-suite staterooms on each sailing. The program is slated to launch on Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam in December 2018, with a rollout to the rest of the fleet in 2019.

"Club Orange allows guests to add extra premium benefits and luxury amenities to their cruise for a great value," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "One of the reasons people choose Holland America Line is because of the quality of what we offer — the best food at sea, the most authentic live entertainment and our award-winning service — and Club Orange is another way for guests to enhance their cruise experience."

The name Club Orange pays homage to Holland America Line's rich Dutch heritage. The company was founded in the Netherlands more than 145 years ago and it's the color of the Dutch Royal Family, which hails from the House of Orange.

Aboard Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, the Culinary Arts Center dining venue is being transformed into an exclusive Club Orange restaurant that will be open every day for breakfast and dinner. The complimentary venue will serve the same menu featured in Pinnacle Grill (breakfast) and the Dining Room (dinner) and also include additional daily dishes exclusive to the Club Orange restaurant. When Club Orange is introduced on other ships of the fleet in 2019, a dedicated section of the Dining Room will be set-aside for the exclusive use of Club Orange guests for breakfast and dinner. Reservations in the private dining venue are not required but welcome.

Amenities that come with the exclusive Club Orange program include priority check-in and disembarkation, priority tender service and priority alternative restaurant reservations made on board. Club Orange guests also have a dedicated line at Guest Services and the EXC Tours shore excursion desk, as well as a dedicated concierge hotline on board for dining reservations, shore excursion assistance, general questions and support. Additional benefits to Club Orange include an enhanced in-stateroom à la carte breakfast dining menu with complimentary premium selections such as steak and eggs or smoked salmon Benedict, a welcome glass of sparkling wine at dinner on embarkation day, premium bathrobe for use in stateroom (and available for purchase and monogramming), and an exclusive Club Orange tote bag.

The cost of Club Orange is $50 per person per day, and the first and second guest in the same stateroom are both required to purchase the program. Club Orange is included for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom. Club Orange must be purchased prior to cruise departure and is not available for purchase on board.

Norwegian Jewel Will Arrive to Sydney After Bow-To-Stern Renovation
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in cruising, today announced the completion of the refurbishment of Norwegian Jewel as part of The Norwegian Edge program, reaffirming the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across the fleet.

ollowing a two-week dry dock in Singapore for the company’s most extensive enhancement project in 2018, Norwegian Jewel will debut in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, Dec. 1, showcasing refreshed venues, updated spaces, premiere entertainment and redesigned staterooms.

Offering seven to 19-day itineraries to some of the region’s most exotic destinations, she’ll spend her winter 2018 and spring 2019 seasons cruising from Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore, before joining Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy in Alaska for the summer.

“Norwegian Jewel’s complete renovation showcases our dedication to providing guests with quality experiences across the fleet and around the world,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Not only are we revealing updated designs and accommodations throughout the ship, but guests will also enjoy new venues and three incredibly exciting shows, one of which premieres for the first time on Norwegian Jewel.”

Norwegian Jewel will feature three new shows – “Rock You Tonight,” and ship exclusives “Le Cirque Bijou” and “Velvet,” illustrating the company’s commitment to providing high-caliber entertainment. The Australian hit musical “Velvet" makes its debut at sea with disco classics, a stellar combination of circus acrobatics, cabaret and burlesque elements, and features the talented Brenda Edwards of “X Factor UK” as the lead, with “The Voice” finalist, Frenchie Davis to follow.

“Le Cirque Bijou,” only showing on Norwegian Jewel, provides a mesmerizing journey of artistic and high-flying acrobatic performances, while “Rock You Tonight” showcases a medley of songs from the best bands of the 70s, including Queen, Journey and The Who.

Nearly all dining, bar and lounge offerings on Norwegian Jewel were updated, and two new venues were opened – The Pit Stop and Bliss Ultra Lounge, replacing the Sky High Bar and FYZZ Cabaret Lounge.

Drawing inspiration from the 1950’s, The Pit Stop is an all-American bar retrofitted with vintage license plates, gas station signage and other classic car elements of the era. Bliss Ultra Lounge offers late-night entertainment in a modern and upscale setting, with more intimate seating options now available.

All 1,188 staterooms were upgraded with new televisions and USB outlets, as well as new carpet, artwork and furniture. The Haven by Norwegian received updates to the courtyard, additional cabanas on the sun deck and new finishes, carpets, tiles, drapes, artwork and furniture for all suites and villas. The ship also boasts two new Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suites, at nearly 1,200 square feet and featuring large, 567-square-foot balconies, two private jacuzzies and accommodates up to four guests.

As the heart of the ship, the Atrium has been revitalized with an entirely refreshed look centered around a custom-design chandelier and includes updated flooring, refurbished reception and shore excursion desk areas, the addition of relaxed banquette seating and a large TV screen.

Celebrity Cruises Unveils The First-Ever Glamping Experience At Sea
The first ship ever designed exclusively for the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Flora, just introduced another enticing industry first: A once-in-a-lifetime camping experience on the top deck of the luxury yacht that allows guests to dine, drink, and, yes, even sleep under one of the most spectacular night skies in the world.

"Celebrity Flora was specifically designed to bring our guests closer to the Galapagos Islands than ever before – from its outward-facing design that takes guests to the water's edge, to the enhanced custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "And now our new Galapagos Glamping experience gives guests an incredible opportunity to experience the destination the ship was built for, on a whole new level, under the millions of stars above."

Four star-struck guests per night will be able to book the top deck onboard experience and participate in this one-night-only adventure. The reservations include two luxuriously inviting cabanas, one fitted with a double bed for sleeping, and the other for enjoying a mouthwatering, alfresco meal. Galapagos Glamping was created to break down the walls and bring guests closer than ever to this stunning destination. To help guests fully appreciate the breathtaking views this experience offers, a naturalist will also be available to highlight the stars and constellations visible from this region of the world directly from the cabana seats.

Exclusive campfire-inspired culinary delights – from cocktails to carefully selected wines to s'mores – will be specially curated for the evening, while guests gaze at the endless open skies above. Guests will have a delicious dinner served exclusively as part of the Galapagos Glamping experience. Campers will also welcome the spectacular sunrise with a full bed-side breakfast.

Modern luxury exploration in the Galapagos Islands will never be the same once Celebrity Flora begins her inaugural season, sailing alternating 10- and 11-night tours, there is also the option for guests to select a 16-night itinerary— an inner loop and outer loop — to the region's most stunning locales in 2019 and 2020.

Based in Baltra Island in the Galapagos, Celebrity Flora will make her debut sailing on May 26, 2019.

Princess Cruises Announces 2020 Deployment to Canada & New England
The 2020 Canada & New England cruise season offered by Princess Cruises showcases the fall foliage to iconic destinations along the east coast and even offers a trip to see the frozen landscapes of Greenland. Two ships sail the region – the debut of Sky Princess, joined by OceanMedallion-enabled Caribbean Princess – and cruises go on sale Nov. 8, 2018.

The 2020 Canada & New England season features 16 departures, visiting 16 destinations on five itineraries, ranging in length from five to 16 days. The season also include select sailings in the summer. Program highlights include:

• New for 2020! Caribbean Princess visits the frozen landscape of far-flung Greenland, to discover more of the world. This 16-day voyage roundtrip from New York travels to one of the world's largest island, visiting this least populated territory, including the capital and country's largest city, Nuuk, as well as Nanortalik and Qaqortoq. The cruise also makes stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sydney (Cape Breton Island) and St. John's, Newfoundland.

• Caribbean Princess offers 10-day Classic Canada & New England voyages out of Québec City and New York featuring overnight stays in Québec on every voyage. Ports stops visited include the seaside communities like Newport, Boston, Portland, Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy), New Brunswick, Halifax, Sydney (Cape Breton Island), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Saguenay and Québec.

• In addition, Caribbean Princess offers a 13-day Canada & Colonial America cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Québec (or vice versa) featuring calls in Sydney (Cape Breton Island), Halifax, Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy), Bar Harbor (for Acadia National Park), Boston, Newport, Rhode Island, New York and Charleston (northbound) or Norfolk (southbound).

• Sky Princess sails on her maiden Canada and New England season with seven-day cruises roundtrip from New York, visiting Newport, Rhode Island, Boston, Bar Harbor (for Acadia National Park), Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy) and Halifax.

• A five-day Canadian Atlantic Provinces Getaway out of New York is also being offered aboard Sky Princess, visiting Saint John (for the Bay of Fundy) and Halifax.

Princess Cruises guests will immerse themselves in scenic destinations with in-depth excursions for every interest as only Princess offers one-of-a-kind Discovery and Animal Planet tours. Excursions range from yacht racing and wine tasting to exploring lighthouses and seeing world-famous Fenway Park. These cruise experiences also offer access to four UNESCO World Heritage Sits. Additionally, Princess Cruises offers More Ashore ports calls (9 pm or later departures) to discover more during the day and sample the night-life in Québec City and Boston during every 10-day Classic Canada & New England itinerary

Plus, once guests return to their cruise ship, regional flavors are drawn from these destinations with locally-inspired dishes such as New England Crab, plus craft cocktails like the Boston Cream Pie Martini.

The first Princess Cruises ship with all-guest OceanMedallion activation, Caribbean Princess delivers enhanced experiences through the OceanMedallion, wearable device. Guests use their OceanMedallion to discover how a personalized vacation can elevate their experience to a higher level by removing friction points, delivering enhanced levels of personalization and guest service all the while staying connected with land-like internet streaming speeds.

MedallionClass vacations offer guests an extensive portfolio of OceanMedallion-enabled features specifically designed to enhance the vacation experience. Highlights include:

• Keyless Stateroom Access: Stateroom entry is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated and the door automatically unlocks, with personalized greetings launching soon.

• OceanNowTM: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to place a food or drink order and have it delivered directly to them in food and beverage locations throughout the ship.

• OceanCompass featuring OceanNav and ShipMates: On select portals guests can use OceanNav for point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship via an intelligent navigation assistant, and utilize ShipMates to easily locate friends, family and kids.

• MedallionNet: Wi-Fi connectivity that is fast, reliable, unlimited and affordable. Guests on MedallionClass ships experience land-like connectivity for streaming sports, movies, music and videos, communicating on video phone calls from anywhere on the ship, and sharing their vacation experiences in real time with friends and family back home on social media platforms.

To further enhance guests' cruise vacations, Princess Cruises is pleased to offer a choice of two options on the East Coast to see the sites of colonial America or Niagara Falls and the best of Eastern Canada:

• Historic America Cruisetour takes guests to such important places as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the Gettysburg Battlefield.

• The Maple Explorer Cruisetour brings guests to beautiful Niagara Falls; exciting cities like the capital of Ottawa and French-flavored Montreal with guided tours of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, dazzling cathedrals and the historic 19th century Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests will also be treated to a lovely cruise through the picturesque Thousand Islands.

Shaquille O'Neal To Open First 'Big Chicken' Restaurant At Sea Aboard Carnival Radiance
Carnival Cruise Line announced today that the totally transformed Carnival Radiance will be the first cruise ship to feature "Big Chicken," a seagoing version of a new restaurant created by the line's Chief Fun Officer, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal.

The menu will feature a mouth-watering variety of fried chicken sandwiches and fries, with flavors to match Shaq's larger than life personality, all free of charge.

O'Neal opened his first land-based Big Chicken restaurant in Las Vegas in late October. The seagoing adaptation Big Chicken aboard Carnival Radiance will be among the many food, dining and entertainment innovations incorporated into the 102,000-ton ship following a $200 million refurbishment in Cadiz, Spain, in 2020.

"Shaq has brought so much to our brand as Chief Fun Officer and we are always looking for ways to expand on this wonderful relationship and provide our guests with new ways to Choose Fun," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Knowing his passion for food and fun, we're thrilled to work with Shaq to bring the first Big Chicken at sea aboard the totally transformed Carnival Radiance."

"As Chief Fun Officer, I want to bring even more fun to every aspect of a Carnival cruise, including what guests eat," said O'Neal. "Big Chicken has been a dream of mine and now that our land-based restaurant is open, it's only natural to bring it to sea, as well. I'm really excited that Carnival Radiance guests will be able to enjoy my own delicious creations alongside all the other great food offerings on board."

Located aft on Lido Deck, Big Chicken will tantalize vacationers' taste buds with a delectable array of fried chicken favorites, all developed and taste-tested by the NBA Hall of Famer himself based on his own recipes.

A variety of fried chicken sandwiches will be featured, with playful monikers inspired by Shaq's litany of clever nicknames for himself, along with his own take on traditional sides.

Breakfast will be offered as well with choices like chicken and egg biscuits that serve as the perfect morning accompaniment. Service is a breeze, with patrons placing their order at the counter and picking up their items right away – no waiting and best of all, it's free.

Big Chicken is among the many new culinary and beverage offerings that will be available on Carnival Radiance when it debuts in 2020. Other outlets include Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse developed by Food Network star and longtime partner Guy Fieri, a classic American steakhouse called Fahrenheit 555, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant, and the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub.

An expansive new WaterWorks aqua park featuring the new AquaTunnel slide as well as a SportSquare open-air recreation complex with a suspended ropes course will be added, as well. All of the ship's staterooms will be renovated with a tropical color palette and striking new décor.

Itinerary and homeport details for Carnival Radiance will be announced shortly.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 57.77 + 1.60%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 104.67 - 1.09%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.11 - 0.89%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 48.57 + 5.38%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Name the former liners that were sold to the Iranian government for use as accommodation ships in the 1970's?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which famous former liner served as James Bond's headquarters in the film "The Man with the Golden Gun"?

Answer - The answer to this weeks question is the Queen Elizabeth I which was lying in Hong Kong harbor at the time when it caught fire and sank but was partially visable above the surface.
courtesy of David E. Justice


Cruise News - November 5, 2018

Celebrity Cruises Takes Delivery Of Celebrity Edge
Following more than four years of planning and 23 months of construction at the skilled hands of thousands of engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors, shipyard employees, and the newbuild and Celebrity Cruises teams, today the brand officially took delivery of Celebrity Edge, representing a truly historic occasion for Celebrity and the industry.

As part of the monumental moment, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and Celebrity's President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo hosted a ceremony aboard Celebrity Edge, while docked in the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The Celebrity Executive Team were also in attendance along with shipyard officials, including General Manager Laurent Castaing, and 1,377 crew members from 72 different countries.

"The Celebrity team has done an outstanding job and I cannot thank the Chantiers de l'Atlantique team enough for delivering this game-changing ship and for their ongoing partnership," said Fain. "Their work continues to transform the way our guests experience the world."

"Today is a very special day for all of us as we have been eagerly anticipating this moment for more than four years," said Lutoff-Perlo. "There are so many aspects of Celebrity Edge that are more groundbreaking than we could have ever imagined, and it is all a testament to the hard work, creativity and talent of everyone who helped bring this magnificent ship to life."

"Thanks to the confidence Celebrity Cruises granted us and to the exceptional level of cooperation between our respective teams, we are proud to have designed and built one of the most innovative cruise ships ever," added Castaing. "This achievement demonstrates once again our capacity to deliver right on time ships of the highest quality to our most demanding customers."

Following the Celebrity Edge check-signing and delivery ceremony, attendees made their way across the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard for the ceremonial keel laying of Celebrity Apex, where a 762-ton block was lifted in the air and a lucky coin was placed on the dock before the block was lowered into position.

On November 6, 2018, Celebrity Edge will begin her transatlantic voyage to her home port at T25 at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Her inaugural season will be spent sailing alternating seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruise itineraries, with her Maiden Western Caribbean voyage departing on December 9, 2018, and her Maiden Eastern Caribbean voyage departing on December 16, 2018. Then, in spring of 2019, Celebrity Edge crosses the Atlantic again to offer guests stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of seven- to 11-night sailings visiting iconic cities, including Barcelona and Rome.

Princess Cruises Unveils Features and Itinerary for Enchanted Princess
Princess Cruises has announced that when its next new ship, Enchanted Princess, debuts in June 2020, it will be named in Southampton, UK and sail its inaugural season in the Mediterranean. Princess has also unveiled new details revealing innovative features on board the ship.

As previously announced for its sister ship Sky Princess, Enchanted Princess will also feature the new Sky Suites, centrally located on the top deck of the ship and featuring the largest private balconies ever offered by Princess Cruises. Measuring 700 square feet, the balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship's Movies under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer a 270-degree panorama and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more for entertaining - making them ideal for families.

Debuting in the Mediterranean in June 2020, the 143,700-ton Enchanted Princess will include the best of the stunning new features found on Sky Princess including a Wakeview pool on its aft decks and relaxing Sanctuary area offering a new contemporary design with more private cabanas than ever before. In addition Enchanted Princess will offer standout features from its three other sister ships - Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess – including an Italian-inspired Piazza, dramatic over-the-ocean glass, Seawalk and Broadway-caliber shows performed in the Princess Theater.

Some exciting new offerings that represent another evolution of the current ships' designs on Enchanted Princess will be a reimagined Salty Dog Gastropub. The rustic pub space will be an exciting new venue where guests can watch sporting events, gather with friends over drinks and small bites, and partake in the award-winning Ernesto Burger, created by chef partner, Ernesto Uchimura, a founding chef of the original Umami Burger and owner of the new Los Angeles based neighborhood restaurant and bar, Electric Owl.

Sabatini's Italian Trattoria, Princess Cruises acclaimed specialty restaurant, will also be transformed. The space will blend classic Italian accents with the spaciousness of a modern, contemporary setting featuring unique handmade pasta courses developed in collaboration with Los Angeles chef Angelo Auriana that will be prepared fresh daily.

The Princess Live! and Café will have a new art deco-style décor where guests can enjoy their favorite drinks and small bites while watching live performances or enjoying an intimate gathering.

"With our new Sky Suites and enhanced dining and relaxation features on Enchanted Princess, we are continuing our commitment to offer new and expansive passenger spaces that meet the needs of our guests who wish to explore the world and connect with each other," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

Carnival Corporation Launches Cruise Joint Venture in China
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced that its cruise joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) will launch this week under the name CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited. The new China-based cruise company plans to operate its own fleet to serve Chinese cruise guests by the end of 2019.

As part of today's news, CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited announced an agreement to purchase two existing ships from Carnival Corporation's Costa Group, the leading cruise operator in Europe and Asia. The first of these ships, the 85,861-ton, 2,210-passenger Costa Atlantica, is scheduled to be transferred to the new Chinese cruise line by the end of 2019. Costa Atlantica's sister ship, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea, will be transferred at a date still to be announced. vAdditionally, CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited announced it has signed a contract to finalize its previously announced agreement to order two new cruise ships that will be built in China and serve the Chinese cruise market. The two new cruise ships will be constructed by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (SWS), a leading Chinese-owned shipyard in Shanghai, with the first ship expected to be delivered in 2023. The agreement also gives CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited the option to order four additional China-built cruise ships to serve growing demand from Chinese consumers.

CSSC, China's largest shipbuilder, and leading global shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. have established a separate joint venture to grant a technology license of the ship model platform and to provide technical and project service support to SWS throughout the shipbuilding process. The two new ships will be built with a design tailored for the new joint venture and the specific tastes of Chinese travelers. As the largest cruise company in the world with over 100 ships in its fleet and 22 ships on order through 2025, Carnival Corporation will utilize its deep industry expertise to provide onsite supervision and support during ship construction.

"The official launch of our cruise joint venture in China is a significant milestone in the strategic development of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. "Together with our partners, we are excited about our ability to launch a new cruise line in China based on existing ships and new China-built cruise ships tailored for Chinese travelers."

"The new cruise joint venture complements our existing presence in the market and strengthens our commitment to help China build a holistic ecosystem and become a leading global cruise market," added Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia. "We look forward to working with CSSC to further increase demand for cruising by generating broad awareness of why going on a cruise is an extraordinary holiday and exceptional value."

"It is a strategic decision for CSSC to enter into the cruise industry in partnership with Carnival Corporation and Fincantieri," said Lei Fanpei, chairman of CSSC. "Through the partnership with leading international enterprises, we will build a whole industrial chain including the cruise ship design and building, operations and supply chain, jointly promote industrial environment improvements and create an ecosystem that will nurture the sustainable growth of the cruise industry. Our cooperation continues to receive great support from the Chinese government at both the central and local levels. We wish to continue our win-win partnership from today on, to ensure the delivery of the first large cruise ship to be built in China by 2023."

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: "This achievement with our strategic partners at Carnival Corporation and CSSC represents the hard work, determination and vision of our teams to continue developing the cruise industry for the benefit of Chinese travelers and capitalize on the enormous potential of the market."

Bono added: "China represents a tremendous opportunity for the entire cruise industry, and we look forward to working together with our partners to leverage our collective expertise and leadership in the cruise sector to support China's goal of developing its cruise shipbuilding capabilities and becoming a leading global cruise market."

These agreements were signed on behalf of CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited by Costa Group's Michael Thamm and Yang Jincheng, president of CSSC, at a signing ceremony held today at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. Also in attendance were Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald and Chairman Lei Fanpei of CSSC, among other important representatives.

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited – a joint venture partnership announced in 2015 with CSSC in which Carnival Corporation holds a minority interest – was formed with the goal to launch the first multi-ship cruise brand in China specifically designed to serve the Chinese cruise market.

CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited also supports China's larger efforts to prioritize cruise industry growth in its five-year economic development plan.

As previously announced in June 2018, Costa Group will also introduce two new cruise vessels specifically designed for the Chinese market – Costa Venezia in spring 2019 and its sister ship in fall 2020.

As the world's top outbound tourism market, China's 142 million outbound travelers spent an estimated $258 billion traveling abroad in 2017, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). By comparison, the Chinese cruise industry served only about 2.5 million cruise passengers last year, representing less than two percent of China's outbound global travelers.

As a large, embryonic and underpenetrated cruise market with continued long-term projections for outbound tourism growth, China represents a significant opportunity for the cruise industry to raise awareness, consideration and demand for cruise vacations in coming years. As the industry continues to grow and develop in the region, China is widely expected to eventually become the largest cruise market in the world.

Norwegian Breakaway Debuts in New Orleans as the Biggest Ship to Sail from the Big Easy
On Sunday, November 11, 2018, Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in global cruise travel, returns to New Orleans introducing Norwegian Breakaway to the Big Easy with five to 11-day cruises to the Caribbean.

At 1,068 feet and 145,655 gross register tons, the recently renovated Norwegian Breakaway is the largest cruise ship to homeport in the city of New Orleans, as well as the youngest in port this season. The namesake ship of the Breakaway class offers guests the freedom and flexibility to design their dream vacation at sea with no assigned dining and entertainment times, 25 dining options, 22 bars and lounges, a comprehensive water park featuring the fastest waterslide at sea, one of the largest ropes courses of any ship and an entertainment program that mirrors the vibrancy of the Big Easy.

“We are excited to introduce Norwegian Breakaway to New Orleans, providing our guests with another premium destination to cruise from when sailing to the Caribbean,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “New Orleans is well known for its lively music, culinary scene and entertainment, a perfect complement to the high-caliber experiences guests will discover on Norwegian Breakaway.”

Following her renovation in May 2018, Norwegian Breakaway debuted refreshed staterooms and public areas and introduced a new bar and lounge concept to the fleet with Syd Norman’s Pour House. Modeled after influential rock houses such as CBGB’s, The Rainbow and The Fillmore, Syd Norman’s is a tribute to the grandfather of “Rock of Ages” playwright Chris D’Arenso and features vintage décor, diner-style seating, signature cocktails and an unforgettable playlist of classic rock from the late 1960s to 1980s. Additional entertainment options on board include the Tony Award-nominated Rock of Ages, Burn the Floor and Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy, all of which attest to the company’s commitment to providing world-class entertainment at sea.

“Norwegian Cruise Line is a valued cruise line partner and we are thrilled to welcome Norwegian Breakaway as the largest cruise ship ever to sail from Port NOLA,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans president and chief executive officer. “With our commitment to high-level service and the Crescent City’s vibrant energy, we look forward to offering Norwegian Cruise Line passengers a memorable cruise experience as they begin and end their vacations in our unique American city.”

Norwegian Breakaway will sail from New Orleans through April 12, 2019, offering five, seven, ten and eleven-day Western Caribbean cruises with calls to some of the top Caribbean destinations, including Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City and Harvest Caye, the company’s resort-style experience in Belize named the “Best New Cruise Port” by Porthole Cruise Magazine in 2017.

Princess Cruises Debuts Newest Ship for 2020 Europe Season
The Princess Cruises 2020 Europe season offers the very best of iconic destinations in this region, including visiting medieval castles, walking amongst ancient Greek & Roman ruins and sailing along breathtaking fjords in Norway and Iceland. A recognized leader in Europe, Princess Cruises 2020 voyages range from four to 33 days and includes the debut of the cruise line's newest ship, Enchanted Princess, sailing the Mediterranean. Cruises go on sale Nov. 8, 2018.

In total, five ships offering 67 itineraries to 120 European destinations, visiting 37 countries round out the 2020 Europe cruise season with voyages offered March through November.

Enchanted Princess, the fifth Royal-class ship in the cruise line's fleet, will be named in the UK and departs for her maiden season in the Mediterranean debuting in Rome on July 11, 2020, offering a variety of cruises ranging from seven to 22 days from Rome, Athens and Barcelona.

The 2020 Europe program also marks the return to the Holy Land, visiting Jerusalem, Galilee and more, with Island Princess joining the Europe fleet, visiting more off-the-beaten destinations in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe including two opportunities to view the Northern Lights in the late fall. Crown Princess also sails these regions visiting Norway, Iceland and Greenland.

Northern Europe highlights include a pair of debuts: Sky Princess sails her first season on the 11-day Scandinavia & Russia itinerary from Copenhagen while Regal Princess is all new to the popular 12-day British Isles from Southampton. In total, three Royal-class ships will sail Europe in 2020.

"Our 2020 Europe lineup is epic with the debut of Enchanted Princess in the Mediterranean," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Some of my fondest travel memories are from my many cruises throughout Europe. I always see something new, learn from the locals and of course, delight in the regional cuisines. We have so many cruise options to enjoy the rich history and diverse cultures whether it's your first visit to Europe or your return."

Cultural immersion abounds with select sailings visiting an array of treasured UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Old City of Dubrovnik or the Acropolis in Athens. Guests will delight in award-winning Discovery, Animal Planet and Bon Appetit shore excursions. And Princess offers More Ashore late-night and overnight stays in 41 ports to maximize time exploring these famed cities.

Several Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises can be combined with a multi-night land tour to create a cruisetour with options to explore classic Italy, imperial Europe, the best of Spain and Ireland's Ring of Kerry.

Holland America Line Celebrates 30 Days Until Nieuw Statendam's Delivery with 30 Fun Facts About the New Ship
Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam will officially join the fleet in 30 days on Dec. 1, 2018. The countdown is on until the ship's delivery from Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy, and Holland America Line celebrates the month-out milestone with 30 fun facts about the newest Pinnacle Class ship:
  1. Nieuw Statendam will visit more than 75 ports during her first year in service.
  2. Nieuw Statendam's stunning interiors were designed by internationally acclaimed hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and Bjørn Storbraaten, one of the world's leading architects working in the cruise industry.
  3. In its first year, Nieuw Statendam will sail 92,723 nautical miles, more than four times around the globe.
  4. The ship's dedication ceremony will be held at a private event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Feb. 2, 2019.
  5. Twelve Seattle-based businesses are key partners in the building, launch and operation of Nieuw Statendam, which is important to Holland America Line as Seattle's hometown cruise line.
  6. Artists from 150 different countries are represented in Nieuw Statendam's artwork.
  7. More than 150 bottles of red wine will be made each month at BLEND, the first purpose-built wine blending venue at sea.
  8. At 975 feet in length, Nieuw Statendam is a long as 12 blue whales.
  9. Captain Sybe de Boer has been master of Statendam, Zaandam, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Eurodam and served on Maasdam, Ryndam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam.
  10. Two hundred pounds of pasta will be prepared at Canaletto during a seven-day cruise.
  11. It would take 7,067 standard bottles of Champagne to fill Nieuw Statendam's Lido Pool.
  12. On a weeklong voyage, 9,331 towel animals will be created.
  13. In the first year, 42,760 pounds of lobster will be served.
  14. There are 1,920 works of art on board.
  15. On a seven-day cruise, 4,200 cups of coffee will be served.
  16. The hull of Nieuw Statendam is made up of 720 individual blocks.
  17. In Lido Market on a weeklong cruise, 5,600 freshly made, personalized salads will be prepared at Wild Harvest.
  18. The ship's crew members represent 33 countries.
  19. On a seven-day cruise, more than 42,000 eggs will be used.
  20. More than 9,360 songs will be performed in Rolling Stone Rock Room during the first year.
  21. Guests will indulge in 11,440 massages during the first year.
  22. Pinnacle Grill will serve 600 pounds of Double R Ranch Beef during a seven-day cruise.
  23. Nearly 20,000 guests will attend a Digital Workshop powered by Windows class in the first year.
  24. During a seven-day cruise, 3,000 burgers will be served at Dive-In.
  25. Seventy performers will grace the stages of Music Walk during the first year.
  26. Eighteen different flavors of gelato will be made on board each cruise.
  27. In the first year, 260 live America's Test Kitchen shows will help our guests master their home kitchens.
  28. Grand Dutch Café will serve 1,250 beers on a seven-day cruise.
  29. New York Deli & Pizza will serve up 350 breakfast sandwiches on a weeklong cruise.
  30. Nieuw Statendam is a sister-ship to Koningsdam, which was delivered in April 2016. A third Pinnacle-class ship will be delivered in 2021.

Nieuw Statendam sets sail on its 14-day Premier Voyage from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dec. 5, 2018. The ship then spends a season in the Caribbean before returning to Europe for summer explorations to the Mediterranean and Norway.

The 2,666-guest, 99,500-ton ship will reflect the ongoing evolution of Holland America Line. From familiar elements that reflect a rich heritage and classic style to state-of-the-art enhancements that chart a bold new course forward, guests on board Nieuw Statendam will delight in details that are artfully inspired and perfectly presented to create the ultimate Pinnacle-class experience.

While much of the ship's design will be similar to Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship, Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten. The ship will feature all of the hallmarks of Pinnacle-Class design: grand, light-filled spaces; visual drama; and sumptuous interiors inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments.

Holland America Line's first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be the sixth ship in the company's history to carry the name. In combining the Dutch word for "new" with the classic "Statendam," Holland America Line celebrates the company's past, present and future.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 56.86 + 5.16%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 105.82 + 6.33%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.12 - 3.45%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 46.09 + 8.88%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which famous former liner served as James Bond's headquarters in the film "The Man with the Golden Gun"?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which German four stacker painted her funnels in White Star colors in an attempt to avoid capture by the British as she sought safe harbor during the early days of World War I?

Answer - The German Liner was Komprinzessin Cecile.
courtesy of John Georgountzos


Cruise News - October 29, 2018

Royal Caribbean Reports Record Third Quarter Earnings
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. this week reported third quarter results and narrowed its full year Adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $8.75 to $8.85 per share. This range includes a negative impact of approximately $0.10 per share due to a stronger dollar and higher fuel prices since the company's previous guidance. The company reported third quarter US GAAP earnings of $3.86 per share and adjusted earnings of $3.98 per share, beating the mid-point of previous guidance by $0.05 per share.

THIRD QUARTER 2018

US GAAP Net Income for the third quarter was $810.4 million or $3.86 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $836.3 million or $3.98 per share, beating the mid-point of the guidance by $0.05 per share. Last year, both US GAAP and Adjusted Net Income were $752.8 million or $3.49 per share.

Gross Yields were up 1.9% and Net Yields were up 2.6% in Constant-Currency, exceeding prior guidance due to strong close-in demand for our core products and better onboard revenues.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 0.2% in Constant-Currency. NCC excluding Fuel per APCD were down 0.1% in Constant-Currency, slightly higher than guidance, driven by timing.

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the third quarter was $538.57 per metric ton and consumption was 338,700 metric tons.

FULL YEAR 2018

The company expects full year Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $8.75 to $8.85 per share. This guidance now includes Silversea's operations, which, as previously disclosed, will be accounted for on a three month lag. The transaction closed on July 31st 2018, therefore the results corresponding to August and September will be consolidated in the fourth quarter. As an ultra-luxury brand, Silversea's revenues and expenses are both higher than the rest of the company. This will have an impact on some of the individual components of the income statement, but overall, Silversea's financial results are not expected to be material to our 2018 Adjusted Earnings per Share.

Since our last guidance, foreign exchange and fuel prices have continued to negatively impact the company's results. Based on current rates, we expect these factors to cost the company approximately $0.10 per share in 2018 relative to the company's previous guidance. Since the beginning of the year, currency and fuel have impacted our expected earnings for both 2018 and 2019 by approximately $0.55 per share.

The company expects a Net Yield increase of 4.0% to 4.5% in Constant-Currency and approximately 4.5% As-Reported. These metrics include an approximately 80 basis point uplift from Silversea's operations. In addition, the company's third quarter outperformance together with booking strength for the fourth quarter are contributing to the increase in the full year Net Yield guidance.

NCC excluding Fuel per APCD are expected to be up approximately 4.5% in Constant-Currency and up 4.5% to 5.0% As-Reported. These metrics include approximately 140 basis points from Silversea's operations. This updated guidance also reflects an increase in our costs related to the acceleration of technology investments.

Taking into account current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, the company estimates 2018 Adjusted EPS will be in the range of $8.75 to $8.85 per share.

"2018 is shaping up to be another year of yield growth and record earnings," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "As we enter 2019, we are particularly enthusiastic about the new projects that complement our core business such as Perfect Day at Cococay, the new terminal in Miami and Excalibur. These investments will help us deliver even greater vacations while generating higher yields and better returns."

FOURTH QUARTER 2018

Constant-Currency Net Yields are expected to be up 6.5% to 7.0%. This metric includes approximately 350 basis points from Silversea's operations.

NCC excluding Fuel in Constant-Currency are expected to increase 6.0% to 6.5%, which includes approximately 500 basis points from Silversea's operations. This updated guidance also reflects an increase in our costs related to technology investments.

Based on current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates and the factors detailed above, the company expects fourth quarter Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $1.45 to $1.50 per share.

2019 OUTLOOK The company is experiencing strong early booking trends for 2019. Booked load factors and rates are higher than same time last year across all core products while the booking window has continued to extend. The market response to Symphony of the Seas, Azamara Pursuit and Celebrity Edge has been excellent. While these ships are being introduced this year, 2019 will see the benefit of their full year of operations in various markets as they sail in both North America and Europe. These three vessels together with Spectrum of the Seas, which will be introduced in June 2019 in Shanghai, are supporting a solid outlook for 2019. While still early in the booking cycle, the view for 2019 is encouraging and the company expects another year of solid yield and earnings growth. Regarding Silversea's consolidation, as mentioned above, while the bottom line impact in the near term is expected to be immaterial, we expect higher average yields for the company and higher costs per berth.

Queen Mary 2 and HMS Queen Elizabeth Meet for Royal Reception in New York Harbor
Cunard's flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2 had a rare meeting in New York Harbor today and paid tribute to British Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during the carrier's first visit to the U.S. The rendezvous between these renowned vessels celebrates the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom and their committed alliance.

Luxury cruise line Cunard is a company known for its rich history and significant role in both World Wars. Having deep roots in both England and the U.S., it's an honor for the brand to welcome the Royal Navy carrier to its U.S. homeport of Brooklyn, New York.

"Cunard launched the first royal mail service route across the Atlantic in 1840, connecting people between North America and the United Kingdom," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "We continue to sail regularly-scheduled Crossings between the two countries, which makes meeting the Royal Navy on this side of the pond a particularly significant occasion."

After saluting the aircraft carrier, Queen Mary 2 sailed out to sea to begin a seven-night Transatlantic Crossing to England, the line's signature voyage. HMS Queen Elizabeth spent the preceding weeks conducting its first trials with the F-35B Lightning II fighter jets onboard and when she departs New York, the 65,000-ton ship will head down the East Coast and conduct the second phase of developmental trials.

Virgin Voyages Orders Another Ship from Fincantieri
Fincantieri, a world leader in cruise ship construction, and global travel brand Virgin Voyages, have signed a contract valued at approximately 700 million euros for the construction of a fourth cruise ship, which will be delivered at the end of 2023.

The new vessel will be a sistership of the three ships on order with Fincantieri. Construction is underway at the Sestri Ponente shipyard (Genoa) and the first three ships will enter Virgin Voyage’s fleet respectively in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The fourth vessel will be approximately 110,000 gross tons, 278 meters long and 38 meters wide. The ship will feature over 1,400 guest cabins designed to host more than 2,770 passengers, accompanied by 1,100 crew members on board to deliver the famed Virgin service.

The Virgin Voyages fleet will stand out for original design and craftsmanship. Highlights include highly innovative design solutions, specifically to address energy recovery and the reduction of the overall environmental impact. For example, ships will be equipped with an energy production system of approximately 1 MW, which uses the diesel engine’s waste heat. The result is a system that distinguishes Virgin Voyages as they aim to create one of the cleanest fleets at sea.

Carnival Corporation Awarded Three U.S. Patents for Guest Experience Innovations
Carnival Corporation, the world's largest leisure travel company, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued the corporation three patents protecting 46 intellectual property innovations for OceanMedallion, its wearable device that powers the breakthrough guest experience platform behind MedallionClass vacations on its Princess Cruises cruise line brand.

U.S. Patent No. 10,037,642 has been issued for OceanMedallion, which contains a proprietary blend of communication technologies including Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), as well as other non-disclosed capabilities.

The Medallion device communicates a cruise guest's unique digital identity with an intelligent shipboard network to provide crew members relevant information about each guest to enhance guest-crew interactions and deliver a high level of personalized service on a large scale. The device enables all aspects of an elevated guest vacation including hassle-free payment; keyless, personalized stateroom access; frictionless embarkation; on-demand services and more.

The OceanMedallion activates a travel industry first with an Experience Internet of Things (xIoT) platform – the focus of the company's second patent (U.S. No. 10,045,184) – to connect physical and digital experiences onboard. The guest-centric approach helps maximize the vacation experience in real-time based on guest choices and preferences as well as real-time Experience Intelligence.

The xIoT platform features an invisible network of thousands of interactive intelligent sensors and embedded devices mounted throughout the ship, as well as select ports, linking individual guest and crew devices, shipboard software and hardware as well as synchronized cloud computing to form a unified guest experience platform.

Carnival Corporation's third patent (U.S. No. 10,049,516) has been awarded for its smart door portal solution that leverages NFC, BLE, proximity, capacitive sensors and cameras to allow guests to seamlessly and securely access their stateroom without the need for a room key or room card. The door portal system also features external smart touch-display screens to deliver personalized guest interactions that recognize guest identity attributes such as brand loyalty levels and celebratory occasions. The proprietary door portals also provide conditional crew access and multi-stateroom access capabilities.

"This level of innovation is unprecedented in the cruise and broader travel industry and reaffirms our commitment to develop solutions that deliver the very best vacation experience possible for our guests while leveraging the scale of our company," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "To have our inventions recognized by the U.S. Patent Office is a tremendous source of pride for the entire company. It also sends a clear signal that we are leading the vacation industry in developing innovative solutions for personalizing the guest experience on a large scale to an even higher level. That is an exciting evolution for us and, more importantly, an exciting enhancement for our guests looking to make the most of their precious vacation time."

The company's guest experience innovations currently are being deployed on Caribbean Princess from Princess Cruises, one of Carnival Corporation's nine world-leading cruise line brands. Guests sailing on board Caribbean Princess MedallionClass vacations are enjoying an extensive portfolio of OceanMedallion-enabled features, specifically designed to enhance the vacation experience, including:

• Keyless Stateroom Access: Stateroom entry is a seamless experience where each guest is securely validated and the door automatically unlocks, with personalized greetings launching soon.

• OceanNow: Using smart devices, guests have the ability to place a food or drink order and have it delivered directly to them in food and beverage locations throughout the ship.

• MedallionPay: All guests use an easy and hassle-free, payment experience enabling crew members to focus on guest service interactions.

• OceanCasino: On smart devices and select portals, guests can wager real money on a portfolio of games, including slots, poker, bingo, roulette, keno and lottery from anywhere on board.

• OceanCompass featuring OceanNav and ShipMates: On select portals guests can use OceanNav for point-to-point wayfinding throughout the ship via an intelligent navigation assistant, and utilize ShipMates to easily locate friends, family and kids.

• JourneyView: On portals throughout the ship, guests can access a real-time look at their itinerary, along with events and activities taking place during their cruise.

• OceanView: Guests can stream more than 100 hours of award-winning Ocean Original travel content – which airs nationally on weekends on ABC and NBC - to their smart device anywhere on the ship at no cost.

• PlayOcean: On portals located shipwide, guests are able to play family games, including trivia, word jumble, a matching game, and Ocean Treks Adventure – an interactive, shipwide digital scavenger hunt.

Caribbean Princess now also features Carnival Corporation's MedallionNet, offering guests Wi-Fi connectivity that is fast, reliable and affordable with an access point in every stateroom. Guests on MedallionClass ships experience land-like connectivity for streaming sports, movies, music and videos, communicating on video phone calls from anywhere on the ship, and sharing their vacation experiences in real time with friends and family back home on social media platforms.

Holland America Line Announces 2019 Alsaksa Season Featuring 133 Cruises
Travelers looking to explore Alaska's natural wonders in 2019 will have 133 cruises and 15 different Land+Sea Journey configurations to choose from aboard Holland America Line's mid-sized ships, which are the perfect size for Alaskan ports and uncrowded glacier viewing and tour experiences. The premium line just introduced its "We Are Alaska" branding to emphasize its leadership, expertise and history in Alaska for more than seven decades — longer than Alaska has been a state.

In 2019 Holland America Line will offer a robust season of cruises on eight ships with more visits to Glacier Bay than any other line, the introduction of soft-adventure EXC In-Depth Alaska cruising and the continuation of the only cruise options that combine overland travel to the Yukon's hidden gems. As the first tour operator in the region and the only cruise line offering Yukon explorations, Holland America Line leverages its relationships with the communities and locals to craft unique and memorable Alaska and Yukon adventures.

"We Are Alaska' perfectly sums up our expertise, knowledge and robust cruise and land tour offerings and reinforces that anyone who wants the best trip to The Great Land and the Yukon should make Holland America Line their first choice," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Holland America Line has been in Alaska for more than seven decades — longer than Alaska has been a state — and we're still the only cruise line going overland to the Yukon because of our experience; we know how to deliver it."

From May through September, cruisers can select from seven-, 14- or 21-day itineraries aboard Amsterdam, Eurodam, Maasdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Volendam and Westerdam. New for the 2019 season, Oosterdam takes over the Sunday roundtrip Seattle, Washington, itineraries, adding more verandah staterooms to that route. Also new are three 21-day Ultimate Alaska & Pacific Northwest Adventurer EXC In-Depth Voyages roundtrip from San Francisco, California, aboard Maasdam.

Those ships using Vancouver as a gateway — Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Westerdam and Volendam — offer Holland America Line's signature Alaska Land+Sea Journeys that combine a Holland America Line cruise with a stay at Denali National Park or journey to Denali and the Yukon. With six different Yukon+Denali itineraries and nine Denali options, departure dates offer a choice to cruise first or enjoy the land segment first.

New Denali Property Enhancements Ready for 2019 Season
Holland America Line also has expanded the guest experience on the Alaska Land+Sea Journeys with the addition of new guest accommodations at its Denali operation that includes the McKinley Chalet Resort hotel and Denali Square. The new 99-guest property features standard rooms and 54 junior suites, all with balconies so guests can enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding Alaska wilderness in private comfort. Junior suites showcase balconies, larger living areas and greater amenities for guests.

The new rooms are an extension of Holland America Line's overland Alaska experience to Denali, which includes the McKinley Chalet Resort hotel and Denali Square, a gathering area to relax, shop, dine and enjoy music and entertainment. The addition will be located just west of Denali Square, with views of Mt. Healy and Denali National Park.

Additionally, Holland America Line's hotel in Skagway has been remodeled with a new look, soft goods and public lounge updates.

New Explorations Central (EXC) Programming Makes Alaska Come to Life
Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings Alaska's local customs, culinary creations and cultural experiences on board. In time for the 2019 season, a specially designated EXC "home base" will be complete aboard Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Oosterdam and Westerdam with interactive touchscreens, digital stories and a display of real-time data from the ship's bridge.

Through the EXC Encounters program, guests can learn about local traditions or enjoy the simple pleasures of storytelling. Those who want to immerse themselves even further can attend an EXC Talk where an Alaska expert tells tales only a local knows. The EXC Guides provide further assistance in customizing each visit to the ports, while EXC Maps and Port Planners help guests tailor their time ashore. The in-stateroom EXC Channel features a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring the destinations on the itinerary.

Holland America Line's Explorations Central recently received top honors for outstanding Overall Cruise Education Program from a leading travel industry publication.

BBC Earth Brings Alaska to Life in an Epic Production
Guests on all Alaska cruises will be able to enjoy BBC Earth's "Alaska in Concert" multimedia performance on the Main Stage. Combining live music set against a backdrop of mesmerizing footage from the BBC Earth television series "Wild Alaska," audiences experience the cycle of four seasons and see this land is as unforgiving as it is beautiful.

Inside Passage Cruises Attract More First-Time Cruisers Than Any Other Region Between May and September, Holland America Line offers 122 seven-day and seven 14-day cruises. Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Oosterdam, Volendam and Westerdam feature seven-day itineraries; Amsterdam offers the 14-day Great Alaskan Explorer voyages. Guests can conveniently cruise roundtrip from Vancouver, British Columbia, or Seattle, as well as select one-way itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.

All cruises feature one or more of Alaska's famous glaciers, and every itinerary is highlighted by scenic cruising through Alaska's Inside Passage. In Glacier Bay, all ships sail with a Huna native as well as a park ranger who provides commentary, presentations and information on Alaska's famed national park.

New EXC In-Depth Voyages on Maasdam Offer 21-Day Alaska Experience
New for 2019 are three incredible 21-day Ultimate Alaska & Pacific Northwest Adventurer EXC In-Depth Voyages roundtrip from San Francisco, California, aboard Maasdam. Departing May 7, May 28 and June 18, the comprehensive itineraries include 12 ports in Alaska and Canada, as well as scenic cruising at Hubbard Glacier and in College Fjord, Prince William Sound, Tracy Arm, Frederick Sound, the Inside Passage and Alberni Inlet. In addition to Alaska favorites like Ketchikan, Sitka, Homer, Haines and Juneau, the ship also calls at less-visited ports including Valdez, Kodiak and Wrangell, Alaska; and Port Alberni, British Columbia.

The Ultimate Alaska & Pacific Northwest Adventurer is part of Maasdam's In-Depth Voyages program for travelers who are looking for thoughtful and immersive ways to see the world. The EXC In-Depth Voyages use world-renowned experts, local scholars and unique tours to immerse guests in the experience, enabling them to explore through the prism of their own personal interests and passions.

Venture from Vancouver on Four Ships
Nieuw Amsterdam, Noordam, Volendam and Westerdam offer seven-day Inside Passage cruises roundtrip from Vancouver. The itinerary calls at Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway, with scenic cruising through Alaska's Inside Passage, Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay National Park.

Additionally, Noordam and Westerdam each sail one-way alternating north-south seven-day Glacier Discovery cruises between Vancouver and Seward (Anchorage). The cruises call at Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway/Haines, with Glacier Bay and Inside Passage scenic cruising.

Cruiser's Choice – Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier
Conveniently sailing roundtrip from Seattle, Eurodam and Oosterdam each feature seven-day Alaskan Explorer cruises. All seven-day roundtrip Seattle departures include calls at Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka, Alaska; as well as Victoria, British Columbia, and scenic cruising through Alaska's Inside Passage. Guests sailing on Eurodam enjoy scenic cruising through Glacier Bay, while Oosterdam guests experience cruising Hubbard Glacier.

Amsterdam's Great Alaskan Explorer Cruises Take Guests Off the Beaten Path
Holland America Line's 14-day roundtrip Seattle Great Alaskan Explorer sailings on Amsterdam include unique highlights such as calls at Anchorage, Icy Strait Point, Homer, Kodiak, Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau and Victoria. Guests on this itinerary enjoy scenic cruising around Vancouver Island, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm.

Land+Sea Journeys Combine an Alaska Cruise with Overland Exploration
The Alaska landscape is one of the few places in the world that is best seen by combining a cruise with an overland adventure, and Holland America Line's award-winning Land+Sea Journeys offer guests more ways to see this remote and off-the-beaten path part of the world. Holland America Line is the only cruise company to weave must-see sites such as Denali National Park — the centerpiece of every Land+Sea Journey — with seldom-seen locations in the Yukon.

The 15 Land+Sea Journey options range from nine to 18 days and are in two distinct series with cruise-first or land-first choices: Yukon+Denali Land+Sea Journeys and Denali Land+Sea Journeys.

Each Land+Sea Journey combines a three-, four- or seven-night cruise with a one-, two- or three-night stay at Denali National Park. Guests are immersed in Alaska history and culture with visits to places such as Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon; Fairbanks, Alaska, the gateway to the Arctic; and Alaska's five-star Alyeska Resort.

The six Yukon+Denali Land+Sea Journeys range in length from nine to 18 days and travel roundtrip Vancouver or between Vancouver and Anchorage. During these trips guests enjoy scenic cruising along the Inside Passage and/or Glacier Bay while also visiting Juneau. Depending on the Journey, they may also call at Ketchikan and Haines or Skagway. In addition to Denali National Park, the overland portion may include Fairbanks, along with Whitehorse and Dawson City, Yukon.

The nine Denali Land+Sea Journeys range in length from nine to 14 days and travel between Vancouver and Fairbanks or Anchorage. Included is Glacier Bay scenic cruising, where guests can explore the ice-studded fjords of this national treasure for a full eight hours as a park ranger narrates. Ports of call on the cruise portion include Haines or Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, while the overland portion on most Journeys features Denali and Fairbanks. The 14-day option also includes a one-night visit to Talkeetna and two nights at Alyeska.

Princess Cruises to Open Fannie Q's Saloon at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge
A prospector, trapper, hunter, woodcutter, gardener, dog musher and great sourdough cook describe the legendary Fannie "Q" Quigley, an Alaskan with a rough-and-tumble, hard-working personality admired for her loads of hospitality. In May 2019, at the start of Princess Cruises 50th year of sailing to Alaska, the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge will debut a new restaurant and bar named after this famed Alaskan pioneer, Fannie Q's, showcasing her story and locally inspired dishes in a modern saloon setting.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Fannie Q's Saloon will offer indoor and outdoor seating with a total capacity of 180, located at the Lodge in the center of Princess Village. Menu offerings will include authentic, home-grown dishes, such as Bison Sliders, Braised Pork Shoulder and a dish Fannie Quigley was known for – Bear-Lard Pie. In the evening, live entertainment will fill the air offering a lively local atmosphere.

"Our new Fannie Q's Saloon was inspired by this famous female pioneer's sense of adventure and tenacity, helping to tell the local stories our guests seek to discover while enjoying an authentic dining experience with local eats and beverages," said Jan Swartz, Princess cruises president. "We strive to innovate our product offerings with new or refreshed concepts to maintain our number one position in Alaska."

Just outside of Fannie Q's Saloon and in the heart of the Princess Village at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, the Fireside Patio also debuts with three firepits offering a new gathering place for guests to roast marshmallows, talk about their adventures and have a drink in the midnight sun. Light refreshments will be available for purchase at this new cozy spot.

In addition, the existing Grizzly Bar & Grill will be updated and renamed Grizzly Burger. This fast-casual restaurant allows guests to quickly order at the counter and seat themselves. Grizzly Burger will feature the cruise line's award-winning "Ernesto" burger, named "Best Burger at Sea" by Cruise Critic. This uniquely crafted ribeye burger was created exclusively for Princess by burger expert Chef Ernesto Uchimura.

The 663-room Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge is located just one mile from the entrance to Denali National Park and features an expansive deck overlooking the Nenana River with views into the park. Accommodations are available to Princess Cruises cruisetour guests, exploring the interior of Alaska pre- or post-cruise.

In 2019, seven Princess Cruises ships will sail to Alaska with the inaugural season of Royal Princess, bringing the largest Princess ship ever to sail the region. In addition, 76 percent of all voyages sail to Glacier Bay National Park. To enhance the cruise experience and to see more of Alaska, guests can also choose from more than 23 available cruisetours.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 54.07 - 4.27%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 99.52 - 13.16%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.16 + 0.85%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 42.33 - 12.20%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which German four stacker painted her funnels in White Star colors in an attempt to avoid capture by the British as she sought safe harbor during the early days of World War I?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
What is the distinctive name of the document carried on board cruise ships (and other passenger vessels) that details the fundamental breakdown of passengers, officers and crew for any passage.

Answer - The SOB (Souls On Board) report.
courtesy of Michael Blanche


Cruise News - October 22, 2018

MSC Cruises Enters Ultra-luxury Segment By Placing Order For Four More Ships
MSC Cruises and Fincantieri today announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the construction of four ultra-luxury cruise ships for a total value in excess of EUR 2 billion.

The ships, the first of which will be delivered in Spring 2023, will have gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 GT and will feature 500 staterooms. The remaining three ships will come into service one per year over the following three years.

The ships will feature, amongst other, the best and latest environmental technology and other cutting-edge maritime solutions at sea. They will also showcase highly-innovative design as well as introduce ground-breaking options for guest comfort and relaxation.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman, said: "It is off the back of the great success of our ship-within-a-ship luxury concept that our guests asked us to enter into the ultra-luxury segment, as a natural evolution of the MSC Yacht Club. These ships will be able to offer unique itineraries, thanks to their size, and the guest services will be taken to another level, including our personalized MSC Yacht Club butler service, available 24/7."

Mr. Vago continued, "I am especially pleased to be able to further extend our partnership with Fincantieri through this new order. The award-winning Seaside and Seaside-Evo class have already been recognized as ground-breaking and innovative designs. We are now introducing another new class, which will establish a new standard of ultra-luxury at sea with ships that will showcase the quality and highest standards that are associated with Made in Italy."

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: "It is with pride that two great brands – an Italian one and one with a strong Italian DNA -, well-known all over the world, today announce an important construction program. We are extremely satisfied that, to launch a new class of ships in the luxury segment, MSC Cruises has recognized that our design will help them create a new generation of ships that will be cutting edge both in terms of safety and technological content, and with particular attention paid to passenger comfort. With this project Fincantieri can count on 53 cruise ships in its order book, confirming its position as absolute market leader."

Azamara Club Cruises To Offer New City Stays Pre-and Post-Sailing
As part of Destination Immersion, Azamara Club Cruises has launched the City Stays program – in collaboration with Cox & Kings, the world's leading luxury tour operator. City Stays programs are available before and after sailings and offer curated travel experiences with emphasis on local connections, allowing Azamara guests additional time to explore the iconic arrival or departure ports.

"As a leader in delivering authentic cultural experiences across the globe, the expansion of Azamara's land offerings to include City Stays programs in key markets enhances our guests' connection with the destination by providing opportunities to explore a city from a local's perspective," said Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. "Now that we have the opportunity to visit more destinations with our new ship, Azamara Pursuit, we will continue to expand our City Stays program across most if not all of our turnaround ports, reinforcing Azamara's commitment to Destination Immersion experiences."

Cox & Kings' President Patrick Richards adds, "we're thrilled to partner with Azamara on the new City Stays program. We've customized some truly special experiences in some of the world's greatest cities and look forward to showcasing these to Azamara guests."

The City Stays program includes accommodations for three or more nights, select meals, and transportation services from the port to the hotel, as well as a prearranged transfer from the airport. Highlights from the new City Stays, available before and after select Azamara Club Cruises' voyages, include:

• Singapore – Dive into Singapore's renowned culinary culture with a local food critic as a guide. Travelers will set off on a scavenger hunt through the city's cultural sites and enjoy private visits with local artisans, including a fifth-generation baker, a master of making paper houses, and a coffee connoisseur.

• Barcelona, Spain – Travelers go beyond the traditional sights of one of Europe's most dynamic cities. Guests can expect to visit a fourth-generation candy artisan, stroll through the unique district of Born – an artistic neighborhood with luxury shopping and museums - and experience a flamenco performance at night. On a food exploration of the city, guests will enjoy a meal with a local family while learning about their history, they will have a gourmet picnic lunch in the park with a Spanish family and join a local wine connoisseur in the evening to try a selection of Spain's best wines, some of which are more than 30 years old.

• Rome, Italy – During this tour of Rome, travelers will explore beyond the traditional sights of this historic city. Journey to an organic farm on the outskirts of Rome, where travelers will learn how to make bread and gnocchi, forage for wild herbs, enjoy a lakefront lunch, visit a milk and cheese laboratory, and go on a horseback ride. Following the excursion, participants will receive an exclusive tour of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel – before public opening hours – and have dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Sapphire Princess is enroute to Singapore
Sapphire Princess is enroute to Singapore from Southampton after the completion of her inaugural homeporting season in Europe this summer.

Sapphire Princess embarked on the 38-day voyage on 21 October and will arrive in Singapore on 28 November. The sold-out cruise will visit 17 ports including Rome, Gibraltar, Athens, Malta, Petra, Dubai, Cochin, Colombo and scenic cruising along the Suez Canal.

Homeporting in Singapore for her fifth season, Sapphire Princess will sail to Southeast Asian destinations on 3-to 13-day voyages. During this time, she will also embark on a Grand Asia voyage from Singapore to Shanghai over the Christmas and New Year period offering guests the chance to enjoy the festivities onboard from elegant festive menus to glamorous celebrations. Sapphire Princess will then return from Shanghai to Singapore in early January to continue sailing in the region until March 2019 after which she will return to Europe.

Diamond Princess, the sister ship to Sapphire Princess will arrive in Singapore from Japan for Christmas and New Year sailings from Singapore to Southeast Asian destinations. For the Christmas period, Diamond offers a 10-day roundtrip sailing from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Ko Samui. The New Year itinerary offers a 10-day sailing from Singapore to Bali, Port Klang, Penang (late night) and Phuket. Diamond Princess features the largest Japanese bath complex at sea at 8,800 sq ft in size, equipped with outdoor hydrotherapy pools, indoor heated pools, seated waterfall massage and sauna rooms.

“Bringing two ships to homeport in Singapore demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing our guests with even more choice and opportunity to enjoy cruising in the region. With itineraries visiting top destinations and the newest innovations onboard including new Princess Luxury beds and award-winning culinary and entertainment experiences, guests can leave the stress behind and celebrate the festivities in style,” said Farriek Tawfik, Director Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises.

“Our ‘balloon drop’ party at the atrium is always a big highlight with lots of fun, music and dancing for guests to welcome the New Year and create life-long memories. Bookings for this season are very healthy and the Grand Asia voyage from Shanghai to Singapore is almost sold out”, added Mr. Tawfik.

Sapphire Princess had undergone dry dock in March this year before she sailed for Europe. Diamond Princess will also undergo a dry dock in Singapore before she returns to Japan in February, 2019. Princess Cruises continues to enhance its ships as part of its ongoing US$450 million enhancement programme. For both ships, guest accommodation has been equipped with the cruise line's new signature Princess Luxury Beds, which was developed in conjunction with a board certified Sleep Doctor, Dr Michael Breus, to provide guests with the ultimate sleep at sea.

Princess Cruises Introduces Refreshed Menu at SHARE
The six-course, fine-dining experience from award-winning Chef Curtis Stone at SHARE aboard Princess Cruises has been revamped with fresh menu offerings, including butter-poached chunks of Alaska King Crab and hard-roasted, double-boned Brown Butter Duroc Pork Chop. In addition, new "Crafted by Curtis" dishes on the main dining room menu are also rolling out fleetwide.

Guests dining in SHARE aboard Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess have the rare opportunity to enjoy world-class cuisine of award-winning chef and restaurateur, Curtis Stone. Born in Melbourne, Australia and trained in Michelin-starred kitchens of Marco Pierre White, Stone's restaurants Maude and Gwen are two of Los Angeles' most desired reservations. Now brining his expertise to SHARE, he has curated this menu comprised of artfully displayed dishes made from the finest ingredients at sea for a dining experience guests savor for years to come.

"Throughout my partnership with Princess Cruises, we've always worked together to create inspired dishes using a fresh approach to fine dining," said Chef Stone. "We share a passion for bringing people together through food that creates happiness around the table. These new offerings at both SHARE and on the 'Crafted by Curtis' section of the main menu will continue to excite their senses, creating lifelong memories as they explore the world on their cruise."

A sampling of new SHARE menu items, available in November, include:

• Kanpachi – salt-water amberjack tuna thinly sliced and quick-cured in lime, featuring chilies, avocado and almonds

• Alaska King Crab – butter poached chunks of crab with "pee-wee potato salad" and confit egg yolk

• Brown Butter Duroc Pork Chop for Two – a hard roasted double-bone pork rack, with confit carrots, broccoli purée and a jus of whole grain mustard

• Almond Marzipan – warm cake paired with strawberry coulis, candied almonds and crème fraiche ice cream

SHARE guests begin with an appetizer, followed by salad and handmade pasta, indulge in main courses from both sea and land, and finish with a decadent dessert. A cover charge of $29 per person includes one selection from each course. A carefully selected list of wine vintages from around the globe handpicked by Chef Stone and his personal sommelier round out the meal.

The complete and refreshed SHARE menu can be found at www.princess.com/curtisstone.

Guests choosing a "Crafted by Curtis" menu item in the main dining rooms can now choose from new options including Steamed Mussels, Chorizo and White Wine, Beef Tenderloin Tips and Mushroom Cobbler. These new dishes join guest favorites Chicken and Leek Pot Pie and Roasted Pork Belly.

Carnival Panorama Gets Her Signature Winged Funnel
Representing a major construction milestone, Carnival Cruise Line’s signature red, white and blue winged funnel was recently set into position atop the new Carnival Panorama which is scheduled to enter service in December 2019.

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, the 133,500-ton cruise ship will make her inaugural voyage from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal on Dec. 11, 2019 – marking the first new Carnival Cruise Line ship sailing from the West Coast in more than 20 years.

The third in the line’s extremely popular Vista-class, Carnival Panorama will offer a variety of exciting innovations including the SkyRide aerial attraction, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, the Family Harbor with extra-roomy accommodations and the Family Harbor Lounge and the tropics-inspired Havana section with a Cuban-themed bar and its own pool.

Following a special three-day cruise Dec. 11-14, 2019, Carnival Panorama will begin a schedule of a three-port, seven-day itineraries year-round from Long Beach beginning Dec. 14, 2019. Voyages will depart every Saturday and feature stunning destinations along the Mexican Riviera, including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 56.48 - 2.15%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 114.60 - 2.70%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.17 + 3.54%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 48.21 - 4.93%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What is the distinctive name of the document carried on board cruise ships (and other passenger vessels) that details the fundamental breakdown of passengers, officers and crew for any passage.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
What year was the last four stacker liner removed from service and what was the name of the ship?

Answer - The Furness-Bermuda lines was the only passanger/cruise ship to sail with one, two and three funnels during her long career. She was built in the early thirties as a three funneled liner. During WWII she served as a troopship with only two funnels. After the war she returned to service as a three funnel ship. In the early sixties she was refitted and came out as a single funnel liner. This made her look similar to her more modern sistership the Ocean Monarch.
courtesy of Larry P. MacDonald


Cruise News - October 15, 2018

Carnival Announces Refurbishment for Carnival Victory, to be Renamed Carnival Radiance
Carnival Cruise Line today announced a dry dock that will transform Carnival Victory into Carnival Radiance – representing the final phase of a $2 billion fleet enhancement program that has brought a consistent level of experiences from WaterWorks aqua parks, specialty dining, entertainment, enhanced accommodations and amenities, to the more than five million passengers who annually sail with the line.

The refurbishment of Carnival Victory will add the line's popular culinary, bar and entertainment innovations and complete an "any ship, any port, any itinerary" level of service and offerings across its fleet of 26 ships that is unparalleled in the cruise industry. Following a 38-day dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, Carnival Radiance will enter service in 2020. Homeport and itinerary details for the new Carnival Radiance will be announced in mid-November.

Carnival Cruise Line fans who want to be the first to book on Carnival Radiance can get a head start by clicking here where they can register to get a "first to know" alert and special promotional offer when itineraries are opened for sale.

"We have been investing in our products, amenities and experience offerings at unprecedented levels which are driving higher results in guest satisfaction, passenger yields and onboard revenue," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. "Our guests and travel agent partners can count on a high degree of consistency and quality vacation offerings across all our fleet and homeports regardless of what ship they're sailing on. Ultimately, this effort is about driving demand by giving each and every guest a memorable vacation and offering a reason to come back to Carnival again and again. And it's clearly working based on extremely positive feedback from the more than five million guests we carry each year." As part of the fleet enhancement program, popular features are nearly ubiquitous across the fleet through a combination of branded offerings which provide guests with a consistent level of dining, entertainment and amenities, including:

• Casual F&B options, Poolside venues like Guy's Burger Joint and Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, in collaboration with Food Network star Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as upgrades to Lido Deck buffets and The Deli, and popular features like Swirls self-serve ice cream stations, coffee bars and 24-hour pizza.

• Specialty dining, including The Chef's Table fine dining experience, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options.

• Shopping and Personal Care, including Cherry on Top sweet shops, Pixels photo galleries, expanded retail outlets and offerings and renovated fitness and spa facilities.

• Outdoor Decks and Attractions, including massive new water parks with huge slides and kiddie splash zones, Serenity adults-only areas, new miniature golf courses and more.

• Youth & Family Entertainment, including game arcades, and dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle "C" and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children's programming for kids 2-17.

• Theater & Live Entertainment, including Punchliner Comedy Clubs, Playlist Productions shows, Rock Band 2.0, live entertainment, deck parties, onboard programming and piano bars.

• Technology upgrades, including fleetwide roll-out of the Carnival HubApp to allow all guests to check-in online, book dining, spa treatments and shore excursions, keep abreast of ship news and activities, and communicate with their fellow travelers.

• Award-winning enhanced NextGen Connectivity solution that creates a best in class Wi-Fi experience onboard enabling guests who want to be connected a content rich experience and ability to seamlessly access their favorite social media applications, news, email, and the internet with enhanced speed.

Carnival launched its fleet enhancement program in 2011. Since that time, it has completed refurbishments to more than 20 ships, taken delivery of three new ships and has three additional ships scheduled for delivery through 2022.

Since the fleet enhancement program was launched, Carnival's annual passenger count has grown from 4.1 million to 5.2 million guests; the number of children under 18 sailing annually has grown from 650,000 to 800,000; its employee base has grown from 34,000 to 40,000; its voyage operations have grown from 1,400 to 1,700 sailings per year; and its lower berth count has grown from 58,000 to 70,000.

Duffy said that Carnival's top quality offerings and consistency across its fleet have attracted more guests that are new to cruise, as well as solidified Carnival cruise brand loyalists by providing new and exciting shipboard choices.

"Our guest satisfaction ratings continue to trend upward reflecting our ability to exceed our guests' expectations by delivering an excellent experience. And our strong product offerings and outstanding facilities allow our friendly and attentive crew members to focus on delivering first-class customer service, which they do in unmatched ways every day."

As Carnival completes this phase of the capital investment and fleet expansion program, it is focusing more intensely on providing a better onboard technology experience for guests.

The Carnival HubApp is now available across all 26 ships in the fleet and running ahead of projections with regard to customer adoption. Since its introduction in January 2015, it has generated more than 4.5 million downloads from Apple's App Store and Google Play, earning a 4.6+ rating. Recent data shows that nearly two- thirds of all staterooms had at least one guest who downloaded the app, and more than half of all guests interacted with the HubApp at least once during the cruise.

More than 20 percent of onboard specialty dining and tour excursion purchases are placed using the HubApp, contributing to the double digit lift in onboard revenue since the HubApp was introduced. This summer on its two new Vista-class vessels, 40 percent of guests purchased the HubApp's onboard chat feature and the HubApp is also driving internet revenue, with penetration now averaging more than 50 percent of all guests across the fleet.

The enhanced NextGen connectivity system has proven extremely successful on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista, enabling fast and reliable Wi-Fi at sea. Further deployment of this technology on Carnival Radiance will provide even more guests the opportunity to enjoy superior connectivity while they access their favorite social media sites, news, email or even stream their favorite content.

Carnival is now piloting a "pizza anywhere" delivery capability on select vessels with the eventual goal of allowing guests to order food and drink options directly from the HubApp for delivery to their location on board. Along with the added HubApp benefits, Carnival is investing in an enhanced Wi-Fi infrastructure to bring more robust service across the Carnival fleet by 2021.

"We are excited by the exciting new choices added across our fleet, but more importantly by the positive reaction from our guests. When you combine all the great amenities and offerings onboard with the best employees in the cruise industry, we have a recipe for success that will continue to fuel our growth," said Duffy.

Cunard Appoints Creative Director of New Cunard Ship
Cunard announced this week that world-renowned designer, Adam D. Tihany has been appointed Creative Director of its upcoming new ship.

Tihany will oversee the entire interior design process of the much-anticipated, but still unnamed ship, which will join the Cunard fleet in 2022.

Widely regarded as one of the world's most talented designers, Tihany has made his name creating beautiful spaces for luxurious and iconic hotels, restaurants and resorts across the globe, including The Beverly Hills Hotel, Belmond Hotel Cipriani and The Oberoi New Delhi.

"The name Cunard is obviously magical and I'm very excited to be involved in this project," Tihany said. "If you look at the history of Cunard, it has always been a forward-looking brand. It has a classic image but actually each ship has been innovative for its period. We want to continue this tradition and move the brand forward with the creation of this exciting and spectacularly beautiful new ship."

Work is now ongoing and Tihany promises plenty of surprises: "Guests can expect a much lighter, contemporary feel, but crucially it will still feel like a Cunard ship and Cunard's loyal guests will feel very at home. The new ship will celebrate Cunard's British heritage but with a whisper, not a shout. Everything a guest expects to see on a Cunard ship will be there, but in a different way to the other three."

Tihany has led the way in restaurant design, creating signature restaurant interiors for such culinary stars as Thomas Keller and Heston Blumenthal. He and his expert team of designers are currently working on plans for the new ship's dining areas.

Design work is well underway in preparation for construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

The ship, Cunard's first new-build for 12 years, will be the 249th vessel to sail under the Cunard flag and when she joins Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth in the Cunard fleet, the luxury cruise brand will have four ships in service for the first time since 1988.

"On behalf of Cunard, we are extremely excited for Adam Tihany to be leading the creative design of our newest ship," said Josh Leibowitz, Senior Vice President, Cunard North America. "Cunard's 249th ship will continue to innovate and define luxury at sea while nodding to the company's storied history. Adam has been a friend of Cunard for many years, and we look forward to his creative leadership and sharing more designs as they come to life."

Countdown Begins to MSC Armonia's First Cruise from Miami to Cuba
Today officially marks the 60-day countdown until MSC Cruises, the world's largest privately-owned cruise line and leading cruise line in Europe, introduces MSC Armonia to Miami for the first time. Beginning December 10, 2018, MSC Armonia will offer unique 7-night Caribbean sailings departing from Miami and calling Montego Bay, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico before arriving in Havana, the Cuban capital, on Saturday and staying overnight to Sunday.

MSC Cruises' 7-night program to Cuba will include two days in the bustling city of Havana over the weekend. And, as excitement builds for this company-first, MSC Cruises will also introduce even more distinct culinary and entertainment features on board the ship to further elevate the guest experience, including elements of the Havana experience brought on board, a brand new specialty restaurant, original theater performances and more.

"We are thrilled that in 60 days MSC Armonia will join MSC Seaside and MSC Divina in Miami, further enriching our offer to guests sailing from North America," said Roberto Fusaro, president of MSC Cruises USA. "Not only will we offer MSC Cruises' guests a brand new attractive itinerary, but also a variety of enhancements to make the MSC Armonia experience that much more memorable. On board, guests will delight in fresh entertainment and new gourmet culinary choices, while on shore, an overnight in Havana will allow guests to fully experience the culturally vibrant city."

Highlights of the Cuba cruise include the following.

A new, mouth-watering specialty restaurant
MSC Armonia will introduce a brand new specialty restaurant to the culinary line-up. The 38-seat "Surf & Turf" will serve a delectable menu for $35, where guests can select an appetizer, main course and dessert from an assortment of gourmet options.

For example, patrons can dine on an appetizer of Slow Braised Pork Belly, paired with Jalapenos, radish slaw and topped with a pineapple BBQ sauce. For main courses, the Surf & Turf offers the best of both worlds, with a 6 oz filet mignon and 7 oz cold water lobster tail. Additional entrée highlights include a Lobster Thermidor, baked in shell with a mushroom cream sauce, and the 18 oz Certified Angus Beef Bone-in Ribeye. Desserts are as varied as they are delicious with a Guava cheese cake, dressed in a warm Rum sauce, a Red Velvet Cake, and a Seven Layers Mexican Chocolate cake.

Havana-inspired Mojito Bar
Bringing the Cuban experience on board, MSC Armonia will transform one of its bars into a Havana haven, with a wide range of Mojito cocktails to choose from, whether traditional or out-of-the-box.

Enhanced Pub Menu
MSC Armonia's White Lion Pub will introduce a new and complimentary menu featuring hand-helds like the befitting Cuban sandwich, a Mojo Chicken Quesadilla, an Avocado and Tuna Salad Wrap, and Spinach and Artichoke Dip to share. The pub will also continue serving a wide selection of beers, including four new additions -- Heineken, Newcastle Brown Ale, Murphy's Irish Stout, and Lagunitas IPA.

New included delights
MSC Armonia will also introduce a few items on board that come complimentary with the cruise experience. MSC Cruises is already known for offering some of the best gelato at sea, and now, every creamy bite comes included with the cruise, leaving guests plenty of opportunity to try every flavor on board.

In the main dining room, guests will be able to sink their teeth into cold water lobster as part of a special seafood dish at no additional cost. And, while dining on these elevated offerings, Aurea experience guests will have the option to dine al fresco, with a reserved outdoor area, featuring the open water as the backdrop.

In addition to MSC Cruises fan-favorite parties like the White Party and Silent Disco, a highlight of MSC Armonia's entertainment offering will be the addition of local Cuban music while in port in Cuba. Straight from the city of Havana, various musicians will join guests on board to play the best of local Cuban music during the Saturday evening of the ship's overnight stay in Havana.

MSC Armonia's evening theater entertainment will undergo a complete review, with an entire line-up of new performances to be introduced on board. Cruisers will marvel at a new, distinct show each evening. And, the shows will include dynamic, virtual sets with the addition of a central upstage LED screen to display a variety of vistas for each show. Shows include:

• ABYSS: A mermaid's spectacular adventures under the sea.

• THE TIME OF MY LIFE: Inspired by the famous 80s film, Dirty Dancing, the show features songs, dances and a story that still captures audiences to this day.

• ADDAMS FAMILY: The famous quirky family stars in this hilarious show, inspired by the satirical and ironic portrayal of the 20th century American Dream family.

• FRENCH FOLLIES: An all-French variety show, with artists, dancers, singers that come together for an elegant and joyful show.

• THE GREATEST: Featuring the best of Broadway, guests are taken through the most iconic pieces of musical theater.

• ITALIAN TOUCH: True to MSC Cruises' Mediterranean heritage, this show will feature Italian music and the most unforgettable Italian songs.

With an overnight stay in the buzzing capital of Cuba, MSC Armonia's guests will be able to fully enjoy all that the city has to offer day and night. Cruisers will be able to fully immerse themselves in many aspects of Cuban culture, both during the day and in the evening, through a variety of unique excursions to choose from. Shore excursions will explore local highlights from music, art and architecture to classic cigar rolling, rum distilling and much more. Guests can:

• Ride in vintage American cars, a staple of the Havana experience. On this excursion, guests will tour the city in classic vehicles down the seafront Malecón boulevards and Quinta Avenida. Guests will stop for a historic photo opportunity at Plaza de la Revolución, and then head to the famous Christopher Columbus Cemetery. As the drive continues, participants will marvel at some of the city's key landmarks.

• Sip on local rum and classic Habanos cigars to learn about a key part of Cuban culture. Guests will visit a cigar factory to watch highly-skilled torcedors as they hand-roll Cuban cigars. Then, cruisers will head to the Havana Club Museum to learn about how freshly cut sugarcane is distilled into rum and then try some of the final product.

• Dance at Havana's largest nightclub, the renowned Tropicana Club. Founded in 1939 in Havana's Marianao suburb, the Tropicana Club is an iconic celebration of Cuban culture with tropical surroundings. Visitors will listen to live music and see a variety of performers in vibrant costumes, while sipping on a local cocktail and dancing the night away.

Prior to these current on board enhancements, MSC Armonia was the first ship in MSC Cruises' $250 million Renaissance Program, where the ship was stretched in late 2014, adding a variety of new on board features. The ship has been tailored with a wide range of amenities and services for families, including a brand new splash park for children; exquisite, varied dining offerings; outstanding, all-hours entertainment; a broad choice of relaxation and wellness options, and more, all with the European flair MSC Cruises is known for.

Princess and P&O to Charter Three Cruise Ships to Support APEC Summit
P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruise, will charter three cruise ships to house delegates to the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November 2018, hosted in the Papua New Guinea capital of Port Moresby.

From their moorings within the APEC security zones, three of the corporation's ships – Pacific Jewel and the recently refurbished Pacific Explorer from P&O Cruises Australia, and another recently refurbished ship, Sea Princess from Princess Cruises – will provide accommodations for APEC attendees. Papua New Guinea is hosting the annual gathering of 10,000 delegates, senior officials and journalists from APEC's 21 member countries for the first time since joining the organization more than a quarter century ago.

"Carnival Australia has established a strong relationship with Papua New Guinea and its people and is proud to have included eight destinations in Papua New Guinea on its itineraries from Australian-based ships since 2013," said Carnival Australia Executive Chairman Ann Sherry. "Supporting Papua New Guinea in the hosting of the APEC Summit in November is an extension of our relationship, and we look forward to playing our role in making the 2018 APEC a success."

Papua New Guinea is located 100 miles north of Australia and just south of the Equator. With a motto of "Unity in Diversity," the country of eight million people is one of the most culturally diverse in the world, with hundreds of indigenous ethnic groups and more than 800 known languages.

A gateway to the Pacific islands, the island nation is a favorite destination for cruises in Oceania. In addition to idyllic beaches and opportunities to snorkel and dive among protected coral reefs, Papua New Guineans also invite visitors to witness fascinating rituals, appreciate intricate handicrafts, explore dramatic waterfalls in the island's lush rainforests and volcanic mountains, and experience WWII history and relics.

The APEC Summit is scheduled for mid-November 2018, culminating in the Economic Leaders' Meeting on November 18, which will attract Presidents, Prime Ministers and other senior world leaders along with thousands of delegates and observers.

Royal Caribbean And The GRAMMY Museum Set The Stage For Aspiring Entertainers
Royal Caribbean International’s Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, will bring a new sound of adventure to South Florida when she makes her North America debut on Nov. 9, 2018. Ahead of the ship’s highly anticipated arrival to her new home in Miami, FL, the global cruise line is partnering with the GRAMMY Museum – the official foundation of the Recording Academy – to fund music education programs in underserved high schools within the Miami-Dade County Public School District. Twenty local schools will receive grants from Royal Caribbean through the GRAMMY Museum Signature Schools program, and the chance to perform at Symphony’s naming ceremony, a momentous occasion and maritime tradition.

The 20 schools were selected for maintaining thriving music programs with only limited resources. As the first Signature Schools program dedicated to Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Royal Caribbean and the GRAMMY Museum is taking music education beyond the classroom to inspire the next generation of performers with firsthand, career-building experiences.

Each school will be honored during an exclusive tour behind the scenes at the Royal Caribbean Entertainment Studios on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay campus, complete with hands-on introductions to what a career in music and entertainment could look like. Students will spend a day at the 132,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which features a 300-seat theater, a 20,000-square-foot, costume-making facility, 14 dance studios, 15 vocal rehearsal rooms, an audio recording studio, two aerial training studios, and more. Further spotlighting the arts and flourishing talent in South Florida, one student ensemble will be invited to perform on a global stage at the official naming ceremony of Symphony of the Seas on Nov. 15 at Royal Caribbean’s new state-of-the-art Terminal A.

“There is a reason behind choosing the name Symphony of the Seas; it’s because music, entertainment and family are woven throughout every aspect of the onboard experience of our guests’,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We have great pride in being a Miami-based company for nearly 50 years. Welcoming Symphony to our hometown is a special occasion, and it is important for us that we celebrate her arrival by giving back to our community in a meaningful way. In working with the GRAMMY Museum, we are helping inspire these incredible, young performers to continue pursuing their passion and show them the variety of career opportunities that exist.”

GRAMMY Museum Signature Schools Honorees:

American Senior High School
Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts
Booker T. Washington Senior High School
G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School
Hialeah Gardens Senior High School
Hialeah Senior High School
Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High School
Miami Carol City Senior High School
Miami Central Senior High School
Miami Coral Park Senior High School
Miami Edison Senior High School
Miami Jackson Senior High School
Miami Norland Senior High School
Miami Northwestern Senior High School
Miami Southridge Senior High School
Miami Springs Senior High School
North Miami Beach Senior High School
South Dade Senior High School
Southwest Miami Senior High School
Westland Hialeah Senior High School

“The GRAMMY Museum Signature Schools program is a great source of pride for our Foundation based on what it has brought to classrooms around the country,” said Michael Sticka, Executive Director, GRAMMY Museum. “We thank Royal Caribbean International for their commitment to ensuring that these 20 selected schools will not only receive much-needed funds to increase the access to music education, but that these next generation of artists have adequate funding to fulfill their dreams.”

Royal Caribbean has long been an industry leader, offering unmatched entertainment across its fleet of 25 ships. The global cruise line is known for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with cutting-edge productions on stage, in the air, under water and on ice. When guests vacation on Symphony, they can enjoy a show-stopping lineup of high-tech, high-energy productions, including Tony Award-winning musical “Hairspray,” with new choreography and staging; and a new original production called “Flight: Dare to Dream,” a celebration of the evolution of air travel that ends with homage to the famed Wright Brothers. In the iconic AquaTheater, an open-air amphitheater, a new aqua show, “HiRO,” offers serious wow factor with high-diving and acrobatics. A high-tech, ice-skating show in Studio B, “1977” will bring guests to London on the eve of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee when her Crown Jewels are stolen in the heist of the century.

Symphony of the Seas will sail into her new year-round homeport in Miami on Nov. 9, following her inaugural summer season in Europe. The arrival of the ultimate family vacation will be a momentous occasion being the first Oasis Class ship to sail from the cruise capital of the world. The ship’s 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises will feature visits to Perfect Day at CocoCay, the cruise line’s newly revealed private island destination in The Bahamas.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 57.72 - 5.52%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 117.78 - 5.37%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.13 - 0.88%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 50.71 - 6.58%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What year was the last four stacker liner removed from service and what was the name of the ship?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which popular French liner of the 1950's started her career crossing the Atlantic for North German Lloyd Line?

Answer - Liberte which started its life as Europa of NorthGerman Lloyd. In her transformation, she tore lose from her moorings in leHavre and was half submerged. After further work in StNazaire she made he first trip to New York as the flagship of the French Line in August 1950. She had originally been built in Hamburg in 1930.
courtesy of Hugh Chandler


Cruise News - October 8, 2018

Silversea Cruises Orders Three New Ships
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Silversea Cruises today announced agreements to build three new ships for Silversea Cruises, the ultra-luxury and expedition cruise brand that recently joined the RCL family.

Silversea signed a memorandum of understanding with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to build two new vessels in a new "Evolution Class." The first Evolution-class ship is expected to deliver in 2022.

Silversea also signed a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Shipyard De Hoop to construct a new expedition vessel, named Silver Origin, that will serve the Galapagos Islands itinerary currently sailed by Silver Galapagos. The new ship is expected for delivery in March 2020.

"We are delighted to have entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft on the Silver Evolution series and De Hoop for Silver Origin," says Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Silversea's Executive Chairman. "With our guests in mind, we are pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising, as well as expedition cruising in the Galápagos Islands and beyond, redefining the concept of immersive travel."

"We are excited to get to work helping Silversea grow and realize its ambitions," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which finalized its two-thirds acquisition of Silversea earlier this year. "There is tremendous potential in the ultra-luxury and expedition markets of the cruise industry, and we believe discerning travelers will embrace the exciting designs Silversea is imagining for them."

"We are very happy to build these new ships for Silversea Cruises. Together with Silversea we will create a new generation of environmentally friendly ships in the ultra-luxury cruise market," said Tim Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft.

"We are excited and proud to receive this order," said Patrick A.B.M. Janssens MA, CEO, Shipyard De Hoop. "It is not only about building the best small expedition cruise vessel, but also about building and maintaining a high-quality partnership with Royal Caribbean and Silversea."

The agreements are subject to certain contingencies which are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

Oceania Cruises Reveals All-New Owner's Suites
Oceania Cruises unveiled the first of many exciting enhancements coming to the line's acclaimed 1,250-guest ships Marina and Riviera: an altogether new generation of Owner's Suites furnished exclusively with Ralph Lauren Home.

"The Owner's Suites furnished exclusively with Ralph Lauren Home are signature elements of our brand and truly iconic," stated Bob Binder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oceania Cruises. "As we are always looking for ways to elevate the guest experience we took the opportunity to completely re-master these suites and provide our guests with an entirely new experience. Everything from the furnishings to the artwork is new, and guests will feel as though they are sailing aboard one of the world's most glamorous yachts or living in an opulent estate home."

Sporting a color palette that is quintessentially Ralph Lauren, the suites are resplendent in navy, white, crème and camel. Fabrics and upholstery are a mélange of solids and stripes, with pops of metallic, silver, and gold. Attention to detail is paramount and the rooms are layered in a way that only a Ralph Lauren Home room would be dressed. Even details such as the red, white and blue striped fabric selected for the outdoor cushions on the suites' verandas harken back to Mr. Lauren's label as "America's designer" and reminding us of his charitable work in restoring the Star-Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Guests will enter through the breathtaking foyer with a limestone and black cabochon inset floor, walls of inset Georgian wood paneling, and a mahogany and quartzite bar. Spacious and airy, this grand room features dramatic sea-views from floor-to-ceiling windows dressed with Ralph Lauren Grimaldi-weave sail fabric, along with a self-playing ebony piano that provides the perfect interlude for in-suite entertaining. The elegant living room is anchored by a new saddle-suede sectional sofa accented with deep navy cushions and accompanied by a mahogany Lounge Moderne chair upholstered in navy and white Super-Yacht Stripe. The centerpiece of the dining room is the Mayfair dining table with a new Barrett Knurled chandelier overhead. The master suite, which is an entire retreat unto itself, has taken on an entirely new persona with a new Cote D'Azur king-size bed, elegant Mayfair Bergere side chairs upholstered in Sutton Suede Doe and dramatic nickel-trimmed lighting accents. Finally, the wraparound teak verandas feature stylish pieces that were custom-crafted by Ralph Lauren Home for Oceania Cruises.

Designed by Los Angeles based Trevor R. Howells Interior Design, the Owner's Suites reflect Ralph Lauren's appreciation for sailing, Hollywood glamour and timeless, classical beauty.

"The Ralph Lauren Home furnishings, lighting, fabric, and accessories along with the art selection have been carefully curated to highlight the fabled American brand's ever-present mix of modern luxury and timeless style," stated Trevor R. Howells, principal designer and Ralph Lauren alumnus.

Howells specifically selected furnishings to highlight Ralph Lauren Home's unique design presence in a world filled with sameness. Utilizing fabrics such as the "super yacht stripe" and signature pieces such as the Clivedon carved chairs and Pall Mall cocktail table, the Owner's Suites aboard Marina and Riviera capture the joy of travel, the thrill of adventure and surround travelers with the impeccable style of Ralph Lauren Home.

The new Owner's Suites will debut on Riviera in April 2019 and Marina in May 2020. Further details on additional enhancements and new guest experiences coming to both ships will be revealed in early 2019.

Carnival Breeze, Carnival Magic Begin Service from New Florida Homeports
This past weekend, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic launched year-round programs from Port Canaveral and Miami, respectively, providing seagoing vacationers with new, exciting choices in two convenient Florida homeports.

Carnival Breeze kicked off its new Port Canaveral-based program with a special six-day cruise to Nassau, Amber Cove and Grand Turk that departed Sept. 30, to be followed by the launch of year-round seven-day alternating eastern and western Caribbean cruises on Oct. 6. These week-long voyages depart every Saturday with eastern Caribbean itineraries visiting Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, and Grand Turk. Western Caribbean voyages feature Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay and Costa Maya, part of Carnival’s exclusive Cozumel Plus itineraries offering extended stays in Cozumel and a variety of attractive and interesting shore excursions on the island and the Mexican mainland.

On its new Miami-based schedule, Carnival Magic sails alternating eastern and western Caribbean cruises departing Sundays. Eastern Caribbean cruises call at Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk, while western Caribbean departures feature Grand Cayman, Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel. A special seven-day Cozumel Plus holiday cruise will operate round-trip from Miami Dec. 23-30, 2018, with an extended call in Cozumel and day-long visits to Belize, Mahogany Bay and Grand Cayman. Carnival Magic joins the line’s newest ship, Carnival Horizon which launched year-round Caribbean service from Miami Sept. 23, as well as Carnival Glory, Carnival Sensation, and Carnival Victory, at Carnival’s busiest homeport. Carnival Breeze will also operate a 14-day Carnival Journeys cruise round-trip from Port Canaveral Saturday, Nov. 3-17, 2018, with stops at eight scenic Caribbean destinations, including St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, St. Maarten, Tortola, and San Juan. On Carnival Journeys cruises, guests can enjoy local cuisine and entertainment as well as unique enrichment opportunities.

Part of the line’s popular Dream-class, the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze each offer a wide range of popular features, including massive WaterWorks aqua park, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, two restaurants developed by Food Network star Guy Fieri, the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant and the SportSquare open-air recreation complex.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Introduces First School Built From Hurricane Relief Campaign
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company operating the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announced the opening of Ivan Dawson Primary School, the first school to be constructed as a result of the company’s Hope Starts Here hurricane relief campaign.

Together with All Hearts and Hands – Smart Response, the company raised over $2.5 million dollars to deliver early relief response and rebuild safe, resilient schools in the Caribbean communities impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. A portion of the proceeds was used to build the primary school on Tortola, British Virgin Islands. On October 5, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings officials attended the grand opening celebration of the Kindergarten through sixth grade school, which will open its doors to students on October 31.

“We are incredibly proud to celebrate the opening of this first school in partnership with All Hearts and Hands – Smart Response, which is a direct outcome of our Hope Starts Here hurricane relief campaign,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We are immensely grateful for all those who have contributed to the construction of the Ivan Dawson Primary School and who have helped restore hope to families in the community.” vThe Hope Starts Here hurricane relief program launched in late September 2017, when the company partnered with relief organization All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response to help provide immediate relief in Key West and reconstruct schools and critical infrastructure in affected islands in the Caribbean including St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Tortola. It has been the largest fundraising campaign in the company’s history. Within 90 days of the launch, Hope Starts Here reached its goal of raising $2.5 million to assist All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response. The program has received more than $1.25 million in donations from the company’s valued team members, loyal guests, travel partners and business partners, which Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has matched.

Carnival Cruise Line Testing New Small Plate Dining Choices
Looking for that perfect complement to your custom cocktail at Alchemy Bar? Carnival Cruise Line is piloting new small plate dining options at the Alchemy Bars on Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon.

The tantalizing new choices – called Alchemy Bar Snacks – include a trio of oysters with mignonette, roasted berries and pickled scallion, Ahi Poke with whipped avocado, sesame, koshihikari rice and ponzu wakame, Crispy Shrimp with sriracha aioli and chive dressing and a Smoked Brisket Slider with parmesan truffle fries. Each dish is $4.

These pair perfectly with Alchemy Bar’s hand-crafted libations like the Island Old Fashioned, Cucumber Sunrise or The Perfect Storm which are created by lab-coated mixologists at the popular cocktail pharmacy-themed lounge.

The new offerings are being tested and may be added to menus on the two ships once the pilot phase is completed.

Carnival Corporation's Brands Support Caribbean with Key Community Projects
Carnival Corporation, the world's largest leisure travel company, today announced a series of community projects supporting children, education and emergency preparedness in the Caribbean, the world's most popular region for cruise vacations.

Carnival Corporation and several of its brands – AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises – have been working with local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including UNICEF and United Way of Miami-Dade and of Puerto Rico, to partner with several islands on community projects specifically tailored to their needs and designed to have a lasting impact. The islands include the Caribbean destinations of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The community improvement projects have been part of a significant donation from Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation, along with the company's brands, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Foundation to provide up to $10 million in funding and in-kind support.

In addition to the community projects, Carnival Corporation brands continue sailing to these islands as part of the company's leading Caribbean presence, delivering great vacations to millions of guests while also providing sustained tourism activity with a significant impact on the region's economic growth and prosperity.

In total, the company has eight brands sailing regularly to these eight destinations, including 49 ships scheduled to make over 1,000 calls to 13 ports, totaling an estimated 2.9 million passenger movements expected for full-year 2018. And, overall in the Caribbean, Carnival Corporation and its brands are expected to make over 5,000 port calls across the entire Caribbean region in 2018, visiting 58 ports in 28 different countries and territories.

"We met with local leaders to determine specific ways we could be most helpful, and we saw common themes emerge – support was needed for children, education and future emergency preparedness," said Marie McKenzie, vice president of global ports and Caribbean government relations. "We collaborated with several of our leading cruise brands that have a significant presence in the Caribbean to develop programs that would address common areas of need."

Working closely with affected islands and local and international NGOs, Carnival Corporation has designed projects tailored to address the identified community needs with a sustainable, long-term impact. These community projects include:

Dominica:

• AIDA Cruises is working with UNICEF and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to rebuild Dominica's main primary school, Mahaut Primary School.

• Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line, in partnership with UNICEF, is helping fund the CHANCES orphanage, which provides a nurturing home environment for kids in need of care and protection.

Puerto Rico:

• Carnival Cruise Line is working in partnership with United Way of Puerto Rico to rebuild a school that was damaged during last year's storm season, and is also working to bring back playgrounds across San Juan, which is a homeport for the brand's Carnival Fascination.

St. Maarten:

• Holland America Line is working with the K1 Britannia Foundation to support its Maritime Training and Boat Building Program for Youth – created in partnership with St. Maarten Sailing School, Kidz at Sea and the International Boatbuilding Training College – to provide young people with maritime training and certification, courses in boat building and the opportunity for jobs in the maritime industry after completing the program.

• Carnival Cruise Line is the founding partner and sponsor in the creation of K1 Britannia Foundation's Disaster Relief Program to help ensure the island is fully equipped and prepared for future storms, including adequate emergency supplies, education programs and training for volunteer-response teams, and partnerships with strategic organizations to provide logistical assistance such as transportation, expertise in specialized fields, security and distribution.

• Additionally, Holland America Line has partnered with K1's Disaster Relief & Crisis Team, K1 DIRECT. As a key sponsor, Holland America Line has adopted the search and rescue and shelter management aspects of K1 DIRECT enabling them to train volunteers and secure the necessary equipment for CPR, AED usage, First Aid, Basic Fire Safety, and more. Volunteers will also undergo training in search and rescue, psychological first aid, and various humanitarian courses regionally and internationally.

• Princess Cruises and Fathom Travel guests participated in a cleanup of Guana Bay, a beach important to three species of local sea turtles. More than 1.5 tons of trash were collected. Travelers also donated $1,500 to ART HEALS, a local program run by the National Institute of Arts to provide free art classes to the community.

Turks and Caicos Islands:

• Carnival Corporation is working in partnership with United Way of Miami-Dade and the government to build a recreation center for children on the capital island of Grand Turk where the Grand Turk Cruise Center is located. The recreation center will also double as an emergency shelter designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

U.S. Virgin Islands:

• Princess Cruises, through its Princess Cruises Community Foundation, is working in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) to help rebuild the Virgin Islands Children's Museum in St. Thomas and is sponsoring a key water table exhibit. Princess Cruises is also sponsoring little lending libraries in different areas around the island to support literacy and a love of reading. And, this summer the partnership started a program that will enable low-income families to visit the museum for a minimal fee.

• Carnival Cruise Line is working to bring back a primary community playground and has partnered with the Ministry of Education to support its entertainment programs, which lost millions of dollars in musical equipment. The brand's entertainment team is working closely with a local high school through the Ministry of Education to donate musical equipment and develop an ongoing program to assist kids in understanding entertainment opportunities aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships.

• Also in St. Thomas, Princess Cruises and Fathom Travel distributed nearly $14,000 worth of baby items to over 200 young families from the island as part of the inaugural Travel Deep sailing in January. Guests also took a trip to a local Boys & Girls Club where they built game tables, repainted facilities and met with local children.

In addition to the above efforts, Carnival Corporation is directing funding toward general UNICEF social programs in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, and the British Virgin Islands that support education in the region.

"Carnival Corporation has been a key partner to the United States Virgin Islands for the past 30 years," said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, commissioner of tourism for the United States Virgin Islands. "In the aftermath of the hurricanes of 2017, the Carnival team provided critical guidance on what was required for the return of cruise visits. Several executives have visited the Territory since partnering with the Department of Tourism on our Purpose in Paradise voluntourism projects. Carnival Corporation brands - Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line - have committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund children's programs such as the Children's Museum, the Little Libraries program, and the building of a playground (Carnival Fun Park) at Emile Griffith Park. The corporation also has donated supplies and equipment for the Charlotte Amalie High School Gymnasium. Each community project is extremely important to our destination; however, the most important investment is the return of regular cruise calls, which make a significant impact on the economy of our islands."

As the world's largest cruise market, the Caribbean is a key region for the entire cruise industry and continues to drive strong demand from consumers who want to enjoy a cruise vacation in one of the most unique and beautiful travel destinations in the world. According to a recent study commissioned by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, the cruise industry's annual economic impact topped $3.4 billion in direct spending in the past year, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and $911.1 million in employee wages across only 36 Caribbean destinations that were analyzed as part of the research.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 61.09 - 3.87%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 124.46 - 4.00%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.14 - 0.87%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 54.28 - 4.37%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which popular French liner of the 1950's started her career crossing the Atlantic for North German Lloyd Line?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - Homer Simpson is on the mural on the QM2 !
courtesy of Robert Alderman, Washington, DC


Cruise News - October 1, 2018

Disney Cruise Line to Sail from New Orleans for First Time in Early 2020
In early 2020, Disney Cruise Line will offer families even more ways to explore the world together with the addition of a brand-new home port in New Orleans and a highly anticipated return to the Hawaiian Islands. Disney Cruise Line will also return to Puerto Rico for a limited time and continue guest-favorite itineraries to tropical destinations from Florida and California.

In 2020, the Disney Wonder will embark on a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian cruises from New Orleans – the first time Disney Cruise Line will have a home port in Louisiana. Not only will this provide families from the region with the magic of having a Disney ship in their own backyard, but it will also draw families from farther away to discover this incredible city before they set sail.

Before or after their Disney cruise, guests can venture into the city to savor the distinct flavors of famous New Orleans cuisine, visit family-friendly museums and parks, and revel in the sweet melodies of world-renowned jazz music. Travelers will delight in the Southern charm of this new home port, and Disney fans will find magic around every corner as they recognize the iconic sights and sounds that inspired the beloved animated film "The Princess and the Frog."

The Disney Wonder will embark on six cruises during this limited-time season from New Orleans, including four-, six- and seven-night Western Caribbean sailings; a seven-night Bahamian cruise; and a 14-night Panama Canal voyage, departing Feb. 7 through March 6.

After a five-year hiatus, the Disney Wonder will return to Hawaii in early 2020 for two special cruises: a nine-night voyage to Honolulu from Vancouver, Canada, on April 29, and a 10-night sailing back to Vancouver on May 8.

During these dream vacations, guests will discover the breathtaking beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, including the famous beaches of Waikiki on Oahu; the views from high atop the summit of Haleakala Crater on Maui; the lush tropical gardens and waterfalls of Kauai; and the diverse natural wonders of Hawaii Island.

The Disney Wonder continues its standout season with returns to popular home ports on both coasts. First, the ship sets sail for the Southern Caribbean during two seven-night voyages departing Jan. 19 and 26 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, followed by a five-night Bahamian cruise. Then beginning on March 20, the ship embarks on seven sailings to Baja and the Mexican Riviera, ranging in length from two to seven nights, from San Diego, California.

Disney Cruise Line will have three ships sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida in early 2020, and every cruise includes a day of fun in the sun on Disney's private Bahamian island reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests, Castaway Cay.

• From Miami, the Disney Magic will sail three-, four- and five-night Bahamian cruises and five-night Western Caribbean cruises.

• From Port Canaveral, the Disney Fantasy will sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, plus two special sailings at six- and eight-nights each.

• From Port Canaveral, the Disney Dream will sail three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay.

With a variety of options from Florida, guests can choose the vacation that provides something for everyone in the family, combining the adventure and relaxation of tropical destinations, the ease and indulgence of an ocean cruise, and the world-class entertainment and service of a Disney vacation.

Carnival Corporation & plc Reports Record Third Quarter Results
Carnival Corporation & plc announced U.S. GAAP net income of $1.7 billion, or $2.41 diluted EPS, for the third quarter of 2018, higher than U.S. GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2017 of $1.3 billion, or $1.83 diluted EPS. Third quarter 2018 adjusted net income of $1.7 billion, or $2.36 adjusted EPS, was higher than adjusted net income of $1.7 billion, or $2.29 adjusted EPS, for the third quarter of 2017. Adjusted net income excludes unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net charges, totaling $34 million in net gains for the third quarter of 2018 and unrealized gains on fuel derivatives of $65 million and impairments and other net charges of $395 million for the third quarter of 2017. Revenues for the third quarter of 2018 were $5.8 billion, higher than the $5.5 billion in the prior year.

Also in the third quarter, Carnival said that it authorized the replenishment of its $1.0 billion share repurchase program covering both Carnival Corporation common stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Carnival plc ordinary shares traded on the London Stock Exchange. Repurchases will take place in the open market or privately negotiated transactions in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. The share repurchases are subject to prevailing market conditions and other considerations and may continue during any closed periods. All shares repurchased will initially be held in treasury.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald stated, "Strong execution delivered the highest quarterly performance in our company's history, overcoming fuel and currency headwinds. At the same time, our strong cash flow and balance sheet enabled us to accelerate our opportunistic share repurchase program, investing almost $750 million in Carnival stock since the beginning of the third quarter, bringing the total investment to $4.4 billion in just three years, and leading to the second replenishment of our $1.0 billion repurchase program this year alone."

Key information for the third quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter of 2017:

• Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 4.0 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 2.9 percent, better than June guidance of up 1.5 to 2.5 percent.

• Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD decreased 2.6 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 2.7 percent, better than June guidance of up 3.0 to 4.0 percent, principally due to the timing of expenses between quarters.

• Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates decreased earnings by $0.08 per share.

Highlights from the third quarter include the signing of an agreement between Princess Cruises and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A to build two new liquefied natural gas ("LNG") cruise ships that will be delivered in 2023 and 2025, bringing the total to 11 LNG cruise ships on order. P&O Cruises (Australia) announced the sale of Pacific Jewel, which will leave the fleet in March 2019; Holland America Line announced the sale of Prinsendam, which will leave the fleet in July 2019; and P&O Cruises (UK) announced the sale of Oriana, which will leave the fleet in August 2019, bringing the total to four ships leaving the fleet in 2019. Seabourn received approval to begin sailing to Cuba from Miami and San Juan, becoming our third cruise brand currently approved to sail to Cuba. Carnival said that it released its 2017 Sustainability Report and achieved its goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 25 percent three years ahead of schedule.

2018 Outlook

Based on the third quarter results and booking strength for the fourth quarter of 2018, Carnival said that it now expects full year 2018 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 3.5 percent compared to the prior year, better than June guidance of up approximately 3.0 percent. Carnival said that it expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency compared to the prior year to be up approximately 1.5 percent, versus June guidance of approximately 1.0 percent, primarily due to the accounting treatment for ships sold during the quarter. Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by $0.06 per share compared to June guidance and $0.18 per share compared to the prior year.

Taking the above factors into consideration, Carnival said that it expects full year 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.21 to $4.25 compared to 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $3.82.

Donald commented, "We are on track to achieve double digit return on invested capital in 2018 as we deliver upon our strategy to create demand in excess of measured capacity growth, all while containing costs and leveraging our industry leading scale. Going forward, we remain on a path toward continued growth in earnings and returns, driven to a greater degree by capacity increases as we add more efficient ships, replacing less efficient capacity. We believe the plans we have put in place will maximize returns to shareholders over time as we continue to execute in an industry that is both under-penetrated and capacity constrained."

Donald added, "At the same time, we remain committed to returning cash to shareholders as evidenced by the growth in our recurring dividend, currently distributing $1.4 billion annually, accompanied by our recently replenished share repurchase program."

Fourth Quarter 2018 Outlook

Fourth quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be up approximately 1.5 to 2.5 percent compared to fourth quarter 2017. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency for the fourth quarter are expected to decrease by approximately 1.0 to 2.0 percent compared to fourth quarter 2017. Changes in fuel prices (including realized derivatives) and currency exchange rates are expected to decrease earnings by $0.11 per share compared to the prior year. Based on the above factors, Carnival said that it expects adjusted earnings per share for the fourth quarter 2018 to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.69 versus 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $0.63.

First Half of 2019

At this time, cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of 2019 are ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line with the prior year. Since June, booking volumes for the first half of next year have been running significantly higher than the prior year at lower prices compared to the prior year. More recently, during the first half of September, booking volumes for the first half of next year have also been running significantly higher than the prior year but at higher prices compared to the prior year. Based on these booking trends, Carnival said that it expects continued net revenue yield improvement for the first half of 2019, albeit with increases less than the net revenue yield guidance for the fourth quarter of 2018, primarily due to comparisons to a very strong prior year.

Norwegian Bliss Completes Inaugural Season to Alaska
Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest and most innovative ship to date, will complete her inaugural season to Alaska from Port of Seattle, Washington when she returns to the city on September 29, 2018.

She will then make her way to Los Angeles, offering Mexican Riviera cruises before repositioning to Port Miami, Florida for her fall/winter season sailing to the Caribbean.

Following the most successful ship launch in the company’s history, Norwegian Bliss was christened in Seattle on May 30. On June 2, she commenced her first summer season of seven-day Alaska cruises welcoming nearly 77,000 guests over 17 voyages calling to Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau in Alaska as well as to Victoria, British Colombia.

“The Port of Seattle thanks Norwegian Cruise Line for building and bringing Norwegian Bliss, the largest cruise ship on the West Coast, to Seattle for the Alaska market,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “Thanks to partners like Norwegian Cruise Line, Seattle is proud to be a sustainable leader in cruise while creating more economic opportunities for businesses in our region. We appreciate the efforts of Norwegian Bliss to conserve water, reduce waste, and making cruising healthy for our environment and communities.”

Norwegian Bliss returns to Seattle on May 5, 2019 for her second Alaska season. At that time, she will be joined by Norwegian Joy sailing from Seattle and Norwegian Jewel cruising from Vancouver, and Seward, Alaska.

“Norwegian Bliss was one of the most highly anticipated ships in the company’s history and was well received by our loyal guests and travel partners,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Her success surpassed anything we could have imagined, and as a result, we are very enthusiastic about our decision to introduce her sister ship, Norwegian Joy, to the U.S. market in April 2019, when she joins Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Jewel in Alaska.”

As the largest and one of the newest ships to cruise from the Port of Los Angeles, Norwegian Bliss will offer seven-day cruises to the Mexican Riviera with calls to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, from October 5 – 27, 2018.

Cunard Announces Shore Excursions for 2019 Alaska Voyages
Cunard Line today announced exciting new shore excursions for when the legendary brand returns to Alaska with Queen Elizabeth's 2019 voyages.

Queen Elizabeth will sail four 10-night Alaska voyages roundtrip from Vancouver, departing May 21, 31, June 10 and 20, 2019 with port calls in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point and Victoria. Highlights include scenic cruising through the famous Inside Passage, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Hubbard Glacier.

As Cunard returns to Alaska, we're thrilled to offer guests the most exciting ways to explore and enjoy the region's epic landscapes and culture," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "Our 10-day round-trip Vancouver itinerary offers guests more time and more ports with breathtaking shore excursions such as discovering the secrets to catching and cooking fresh Alaskan salmon or dog sledding across a massive glacier. We invite Cunard guests to experience Alaska in ways that speak to their individual interests and passions like never before."

Cunard will offer more than 140 shore excursions in Alaska including:

• Whale watching and Wildlife Quest: A specially designed catamaran takes guests past snow-capped peaks and glaciers in the island-studded waters of Stephens Passage, a world-renowned feeding ground for humpback whales. Alive with Orca whales, sea lions, harbor seals, porpoises, bald eagles, Sitka Blacktail deer and bears, this region offers a wonderful opportunity to see wild Alaska up close.

• Dogsled Adventure by Helicopter: This jaw-dropping combination tour features two ways to experience Alaska's glacial scenery. Guests embark on a thrilling helicopter ride over rainforest, alpine ridges and glacier-carved peaks only seen from the sky. To round out this unforgettable experience, guests drive a team of huskies with professional mushers over Juneau's famed Mendenhall Glacier.

• Taku Lodge Feast & Five-Glacier Seaplane Discovery: A floatplane allows guests to soar over waterfalls, mountains, deep crevasses and the azure meltwater pools of five mighty glaciers. Guests also enjoy a unique visit to remote Taku Glacier Lodge, only accessible by floatplane, where they learn about historic hunters and trappers and explore pristine forest trails teaming with wildlife, including black bears.

• Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest: Guests embark on a deluxe catamaran in search of sea otters, whales, Steller sea lions, porpoise and harbor seals. Back on dry land, an expert escorts guests through the world-famous Alaska Raptor Center, bird of prey and education center on the edge of Tongass National Forest. The experience will culminate with the acclaimed Fortress of the Bear sanctuary, a rescue facility for orphaned brown bears, where guests can observe the bears in residence from a viewing platform.

• Wilderness Sea Kayaking Adventure: This exhilarating guided kayak tour along the rugged Alaskan coastline begins with a scenic cruise via motorized Seahawk craft to a floating kayak base camp tucked away in a picturesque, tranquil cove. Guests paddle through rocky inlets in a two person kayak, enjoying a diverse intertidal zone filled with colorful marine life. They discover a lush, coastal rainforest and may even witness sea lions, eagles, brown bears, and spouting whales.

• Bering Sea Crab Fishermen's Tour: The thrill of commercial fishing comes to life on the Aleutian Ballad, one-time star of the award-winning Discovery Channel television series "Deadliest Catch." On the waters of the Inside Passage off the coast of Ketchikan, guests onboard enjoy a front row seat to the action as 700-pound crab pots are hauled out of the sea to show how Alaska King crabs are caught.

• Cooking in Alaska's Wildest Kitchen: An award-inning wilderness chef and author demonstrates how to prepare wild, natural and sustainable Alaskan seafood in a hands-on tasting session, explaining what sets Alaskan seafood apart, including how to handle an alder-wood grill.

• Scenic Mountain Ascent & World's Largest ZipRider: Guests soak up sweeping views of Icy Strait and Glacier Bay as they 'fly' 300 feet over treetops on a ZipRider cable ride — the highest in the United States. The ride begins on towering Hoonah Mountain, where steep flanks are swathed in rainforest. Gliding at up to 60 miles per hour, this mile-long zip-ride adventure ends with a gentle touchdown on the beach at Icy Strait Point.

Other excursions include:

• White Pass Scenic Railway -- Luxury Class

• Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show & Crab Feast

• ATV Expedition

• Ghosts & Goodtime Girls Walking Tour

• Wilderness Cruise & Silverking Lodge Seafood Feast

• Misty Fjords Seaplane Exploration

• Exclusive Burro Creek Waterfall Lodge & Crab Feast

Cunard will also offer pre-and post-voyage Rocky Mountaineer rail tours, which include either three- or five-nights' accommodation and two full days aboard the train. The expedition travels through a spectacular array of scenery including the glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, winding river canyons, mountain passes and remarkable tunnels.

Carnival To Host Halloween Celebrations Across The Fleet During All October Sailings
Leave it to Carnival Cruise Line to take Halloween to the next level with its "Frightfully Fun" festivities taking place during all sailings throughout the month of October.

The month-long "spook-tacular" is highlighted by the debut of Patch the Pumpkin Pirate, a colorful swashbuckling seafarer who towers 12 feet tall and greets guests as they board each ship. Kids can gather around Patch as they enjoy Scary Story Time hosted by the cruise director.

And what's Halloween without trick or treating where the young – and the young at heart – can stock up on candy and other goodies from costumed crew members at different venues throughout the ship. The event concludes with a costume contest, of course, with prizes for the most creative get-ups.

All-ages activities including Thriller dance classes, Patch's Deck Party, Halloween-themed trivia and bingo, and pumpkin-carving contests, along with poolside DiveIn Movies showing scary (and not so scary) films like Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, Dracula Untold and It, are also featured. Guests can also enjoy tasty Halloween treats and custom libations like Witches Brew and the Green Goblin.

"Halloween is always an exciting time aboard Carnival and this year we're taking it to the next level with a full month of 'Frightfully Fun' activities that guests of all ages can enjoy. It's going to be a blast!" said Sarah Beth Reno, Carnival's vice president of entertainment.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 63.55 - 4.88%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 129.64 + 0.29%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.15 - 1.71%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.76 - 0.32%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship sported two names (her official name and her marketing name) on her hull as she sailed the Caribbean and elsewhere during the mid-1990s?

Answer - The ship was the Seawind Crown (marketing name) / Vasco da Gama (registered name)
courtesy of Robert Wilson, Ft. Lauderdale.


Cruise News - September 24, 2018

Holland America Line Announces Senior Staff Officer For Newbuild Nieuw Statendam
When Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam sets sail in December 2018, the ship's senior staff officers will bring a combined 80 years of company loyalty and experience. The cruise line announced that Captain Sybe de Boer, Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert, Hotel Director Don Habets, Chief Engineer Eric van Loenen, and Environmental Officer Dolf Kramer will lead Nieuw Statendam's shipboard teams.

The 99,500-ton ship currently is under construction at Fincantieri's shipyard at Marghera, Italy. During its inaugural year, Nieuw Statendam will explore the Caribbean in winter and then move to northern Europe, Iceland and the Mediterranean in summer.

"A company like Holland America Line, with 145 years of history, has a tremendous breadth of experienced officers and staff to ensure a successful launch of a newbuild, and we're thrilled to have Captain de Boer, Don, Eric, Kevin and Dolf leading Nieuw Statendam's shipboard teams," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "Not only have these skilled leaders been dedicated Holland America Line team members for decades, they have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to our guests, and I'm confident they will set the standards on Nieuw Statendam to deliver the service and quality we are renowned for."

Meet Captain Sybe de Boer
Captain Sybe de Boer will be in command when Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam sets sail in December 2018. Having been with the company since 1994 when he joined the former Nieuw Amsterdam, de Boer rose through the ranks from second officer to captain. He has been master of Statendam, Zaandam, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Eurodam, and served on Maasdam, Ryndam, Noordam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam.

For the past three years he represented Holland America Line as a Fleet Captain at Maritime Quality Assurance, Carnival Corporation Plc. In this role he advanced the Bridge Resource Management policies and procedures across the Carnival Corporation brands.

Hailing from the Netherlands Captain de Boer resides in The Hague. He enjoys going to concerts, visiting museums, flying light aircraft (he holds a commercial pilot's license), sailing, photography and bicycling. He graduated from the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz in Terschelling, the Netherlands, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Navigation.

Meet Hotel Director Don Habets
Since joining Holland America Line in 2002, Hotel Director Don Habets has sailed on all of the company's ships, including the former Ryndam and Statendam, His first ship was Maasdam, and most recently he served on board Koningsdam. Habets began as an assistant maître d' and worked his way up to hotel director through various hotel department positions.

A native of the Netherlands, Habets graduated from the Hoge Hotel School in Maastricht, the Netherlands, with a bachelor's degree in hospitality management. He enjoys life and everything it brings, as well as making Holland America Line guests and crew happy.

Meet Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert
Nieuw Statendam's Staff Captain Kevin Beirnaert joined Holland America Line in 2006 and worked on Rotterdam, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Koningsdam. He was also a member of the senior team to introduce Koningsdam.

Hailing from Gent, Belgium, Beirnaert studied at the Hogere Zeevaart school in Antwerp, Belgium, and worked for freight company Ecuadorian Line and on dredging ships in Dubai, U.A.E., on the Palm Jumeirah Project before joining Holland America Line. He resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Meet Chief Engineer Eric van Loenen
Chief Engineer Eric van Loenen joined Holland America Line in 2002 as a second engineer after working on container ships, cargo ships and chemical parcel tankers. He began his career with Holland America Line on Amsterdam and has served on several ships, including Maasdam, Ryndam, Volendam, Zaandam, Oosterdam, Zaandam and Zuiderdam.

Prior to being named to the Nieuw Statendam team he was chief engineer on Koningsdam.

Van Loenen graduated from the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz in Terschelling. He and his wife live in Makkum, Friesland, in the Netherlands with their three children.

Meet Environmental Officer Dolf Kramer
Dutch native Dolf Kramer went to Nautical College in Den Helder, the Netherlands, and studied to be a shipboard engineer. Prior to joining Holland America Line in 2004 he worked on cargo ships and in a steel factory.

Kramer came to work for Holland America Line as an environmental officer, and he has worked on all classes of ships except Pinnacle Class. He has served on Statendam, Ryndam, Maasdam, Rotterdam, Volendam, Zaandam, Amsterdam, Prinsendam, Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam. Launching Nieuw Statendam — the second Pinnacle Class ship — will round out his class experience.

When he's not on board, Kramer lives in Aruba with his wife where he spends time riding his Harley Davidson and working to restore his classic 1957 Chevrolet.

Carnival Vista Arrives In New Homeport Of Galveston
Carnival Cruise Line solidified its place as the cruise leader in Texas with Sunday's arrival of Carnival Vista – the largest ship ever homeported in Galveston. The arrival was celebrated with Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy and ship Godmother Deshauna Barber, the first member of the U.S. military to be named Miss USA, before the ship left on its first voyage from Galveston Sunday afternoon.

Carnival Vista is part of the line's newest and largest class of ships and has been wowing guests out of Miami for the past two years with new features like the SkyRide aerial bike ride, an IMAX theater, onboard brewery, two dining venues developed by Food Network star Guy Fieri, an expansive water park, and the Family Harbor accommodations with larger staterooms and lounge area.

Carnival Vista offers two distinctly different week-long western Caribbean itineraries from Galveston, visiting the region's most popular destinations. The first itinerary includes calls at Montego Bay; Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, while the other features visits to Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan); Belize; and Cozumel. Carnival Vista joins Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor with year-round departures from Galveston. Together, these three ships operate more than 200 sailings each year carrying more than 600,000 passengers annually – the most in cruising.

"Carnival Vista brings Texas-sized fun to Galveston for guests of all ages and we are thrilled to celebrate the arrival of the port's newest ship and show our appreciation for the local community," said Duffy. "Carnival is Texas' number one cruise operator and positioning one of our newest ships, Carnival Vista, in Galveston underscores our commitment to our confidence in growing this key market."

The homecoming event was attended by local officials, travel agents and military families supported by Operation Homefront. Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown presented Duffy with a key to the city and proclaimed Sept. 23 "Choose Fun Day" in recognition of Carnival's brand campaign. In support of the local community, Carnival made a $10,000 donation to Houston SPCA and an additional $10,000 to the Houston Food Bank.

"After 18 years of cultivating the cruise business in the State of Texas, we are thrilled to welcome Carnival's largest class ship to her new home," said Rees. "As one of Carnival's most successful homeports, their decision to re-position their newest ship is a testament of their confidence in the port's continued success as one of the nation's top cruise ports. We look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial partnership."

"Choose Fun" is a key component of Carnival's ongoing Homeport Advantage campaign designed to heighten awareness of new ship deployments. A bumper sticker adorned with the "Choose Fun" tag line was unveiled on Carnival Vista's stern during the event.

Added Barber, "As godmother, Carnival Vista remains very near and dear to my heart and I'm proud and honored to be a part of the festivities to bring this spectacular ship to its new homeport of Galveston."

The Homeport Advantage campaign also included a flyover in Houston, Galveston and the surrounding area earlier this month by the Carnival AirShip, a 128-foot long red, white and blue blimp emblazoned with #ChooseFun. Consumers who posted a photo of the AirShip in social media with #ChooseFun were entered into a sweepstakes awarding free cruises and other prizes and triggering a donation to St. Jude.

Holland America Line Explores Three Mexican Riviera Ports on Extended Cruise Season in 2019
From mariachi to margaritas, the vibrant spirit of Mexico comes alive aboard three Holland America Line ships during the 2019 Mexico cruise season. From January through December 2019, Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam and Oosterdam will sail a series of seven- and 11-day cruises roundtrip from San Diego, California, that include calls at Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Boasting sun-kissed skies, golden beaches and azure seas, the Mexican Riviera is an ideal getaway for travelers looking to visit a tropical destination that's rich in culture, color and cuisine. On board, Explorations Central (EXC) programming brings the country to life through local entertainment, regional dishes, destination presentations and more.

"Mexico cruises are among our most popular because they are perfect for a traveler who wants both a sun and beach filled itinerary along with a culturally rich destination wrapped into one vacation," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "By featuring up to three Mexican ports of call on one itinerary, our cruises offer a deeply comprehensive and immersive opportunity to become connected to the people and traditions of Mexico."

Mexican Riviera Sailings Roundtrip from San Diego
All Mexican Riviera cruises will call at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, giving guests a great feel for the country and all that it offers. Three sea days provide time to relax and explore the abundance of amenities on board.

Guests can expand their cruise to include more of the West Coast aboard Eurodam sailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 15, on a unique 11-day itinerary down to San Diego that also calls at Santa Barbara, California. For those with less time, this cruise can be taken as a seven-day itinerary departing San Diego Oct. 19. Eurodam offers eight additional seven-day cruises through 2019, and its sister ship, Nieuw Amsterdam, will also explore the region on six sailings starting March 17. Oosterdam will sail into the region Oct. 6 on its first of eight seven-day sailing, including two festive Mexican Riviera Holiday voyages departing Dec. 21 and Dec 28.

Popular Ports Highlight the Itineraries
During the sail into San Diego, guests are treated to scenic cruising past Coronado Island, Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma. The ship conveniently docks near downtown, so guests can walk on Coronado Island's sandy beach, take in the Old Town or have a wild time at the famous San Diego Zoo, time permitting.

At the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is one of Mexico's most recognizable ports of call thanks to its unique rock arch formation. Whether lounging on a powdery beach, exploring on a four-wheel-drive adventure or taking to the sea in search of a gray whale, guests will find Cabo offers something for every type of traveler.

Mazatlán, known as the "Pearl of the Pacific," is where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet, creating an incredible sportfishing environment. It's also a haven for watersports, historic sites and nature. Locals treat visitors like amigos, making it a coastal city with plenty of allure.

Puerto Vallarta has it all — from gorgeous beaches and activities galore to chic shops and stylish restaurants. The quaint Old Town greets visitors with an enticing mix of red-tiled buildings, cobbled streets and bustling open markets, while eco-adventures show off Mexico's flora and fauna in this paradise on earth.

Explorations Central Brings Mexican Culture on Board
Throughout the voyages, EXC programming brings Mexico's local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life onboard. Through EXC Encounters, a mariachi band in traditional attire will perform onboard, while a barbecue on Lido Deck features authentic Mexican dishes. Guests who want to learn more about the country can attend an EXC Talk by an EXC Guide or head to America's Test Kitchen for a cooking demonstration, cooking class or themed mixology class featuring local fare.

The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavors of Mexico, while bars will offer a variety of Mexican liquors and ingredients. The ship's ambiance will be enhanced by Mexican floral varieties, and guests will be welcomed in their staterooms with Mexican towel creations.

The EXC Team will provide further customized guidance for the Mexican calls, and the in-stateroom EXC Channel will feature a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring destinations on the ship's itinerary.

Celebrity Xpedition Returns Following Makeover
Celebrity announced this week that Celebrity Xpedition has emerged from a seven-day makeover in Panama, surrounding guests in upgraded comforts as they explore the extraordinary Galapagos Islands. It’s another bold step in THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTIONSM, beyond the introduction of two industry-changing ships – Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Flora – and the $500 million modernization of the rest of the brand’s fleet. When she makes her stylish return to service on Sunday, September 23, 2018, the revitalized Celebrity Xpedition will debut an array of enhancements across the 100-guest mega-yacht, from redecorated staterooms, lounges, and restaurants that perfectly complement the natural beauty of this one-of-a-kind destination, to faster and more reliable Wi-Fi that allows guests to stay connected even as they disconnect.

“Our commitment to the Galapagos Islands has never been stronger, because we know, having sailed these awe-inspiring islands for so many years, what a life-changing experience it is to come here,” noted Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “The upgrades we’re making to Celebrity Xpedition and the upcoming arrival of our new Celebrity Flora, the first ship designed specifically with the Galapagos Islands in mind, will transform the way our guests discover this amazing place and take our unrivaled Galapagos offerings to an entirely new level.”

As part of her modernization, Celebrity Xpedition will receive meticulously thought-out enhancements from bow to stern:

• Suites and staterooms will be stunningly refreshed, adding new carpeting and balcony upgrades to a list of already impressive touches, like Celebrity’s eXhaleTM bedding, which make for a welcoming place to relax after the day’s adventures

• All suite and stateroom doors will be outfitted with RFID lock technology that makes it easier for guests to access their rooms

• An upgrade to the shipboard IT systems, including the addition of an O3B satellite will improve the speed and reliability of the ship’s full-coverage Wi-Fi, and the adjusted bandwidth will enhance both guest experience and crew efficiency

• The Beagle Grill will be outfitted with new furniture and lighting that enhance guests’ comfort as they dine under the sun and stars, as well as state-of-the-art new culinary equipment to bring the menus crafted by Celebrity’s Michelin-starred chef to life

• In The Discovery Lounge, guests will find a new, state-of-the-art video wall, upgraded finishes, and updated textiles, as well as a new dedicated DJ station to elevate the ambiance of this guest-favorite hangout

• The Darwin Dining Room will receive similar design enhancements with new lighting, carpet and millwork Water filtration system on every deck for guests to enjoy

• Crew area enhancements including new mattresses with Celebrity’s eXhaleTM bedding, carpets, and Dayroom TV to enjoy

Then in June 2019, Celebrity Xpedition will debut enhanced suites services and amenities coinciding with the arrival of the new Celebrity Flora. Suite guests will be geared up with marine binoculars to use on their cruise, as well as premium backpacks and rain ponchos that they can take back home with them. When unwinding in their suites on board, guests will enjoy stateroom attendants who can help with packing and unpacking, full in-suite dinner service, upgraded premium bathrobes, luxurious Kuno bath products from Ecuador, and more. FROM BUCKET LIST TO BOOK-IT LIST With more than 14 years in the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity remains the authority in the region, offering guests an unparalleled experience in this iconic archipelago of volcanic islands, with all-inclusive vacation packages ranging from seven to 16 nights, each featuring an immersive seven-night cruise and seven certified naturalists on board.

Holland America Line Announces 2019 Panama Canal Cruises
Travelers interested in transiting the famous lakes and locks of the Panama Canal will have five Holland America Line ships and 30 cruises to choose in 2019. In addition to the full transits, guest can embark on Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries that feature a partial transit in combination with southern Caribbean ports of call.

Anticipating another robust Panama Canal season, Holland America Line is looking to build on the success of its previous season when the cruise line carried 40,500 guests through the famous canal. With full transits ranging from 14 to 23 days and 10- or 11-day partial explorations, each cruise provides more ways for guests to experience the Panama Canal than any other premium cruise line.

"Explorers, destination collectors and adventure-seekers looking for a 'wow' experience should book a cruise to the Panama Canal, because it is unlike any other trip," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "From the scenery to the culture to the history, these itineraries are not only personally enriching but they also visit some fantastic ports. And the opportunity to see the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal locks and the famous surrounding lakes is a must-see for all ages. "

From January through December 2019, Amsterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam and Volendam will make 17 transits between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from four departure cities. Guests can conveniently sail to or from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, California; and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Each itinerary includes a diverse collection of ports along with the exploration of the Panama Canal. On full transits, guests will visit cities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and islands in the Caribbean. In addition, some of the sailings include a visit to Half Moon Cay, Holland America's award-winning private island in the Bahamas known for its pristine beaches, engaging family activities, exciting shore excursions and exclusive beach cabanas.

In addition to the full transits, Zuiderdam and Eurodam will make 13 partial transits between January and December 2019. Conveniently cruising roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, the 10- and 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer itineraries include an exploration of the Canal's Gatún Lake with a combination of southern Caribbean calls in Aruba, Curaçao, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Half Moon Cay.

Carnival Corporation Launches Third Seasons Of Popular Travel TV Series
Abu Dhabi, Jordan, Oman, Tanzania, Cambodia and Mumbai are among the exotic destinations that highlight the third season of original travel experience programming from Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE :CCL ;NYSE :CUK ), the world's largest leisure travel company.

New episodes of Carnival Corporation's Ocean Original TV programs "Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin," "Vacation CreationTM with Tommy Davidson and Andrea Feczko," and "The Voyager with Josh Garcia" begin Saturday, October 6, and will again air on Saturdays through fall 2019 on ABC and NBC.

"We're thrilled at the continued growth all three series have enjoyed and we're eager to share new episodes of these popular TV shows to the millions of families and travel buffs in search of new destinations to add to their vacation wish lists," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation, whose portfolio features nine world-leading cruise line brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. "Fans will continue to see that the opportunities to experience the world on a cruise vacation are endless."

Back for a third season on ABC stations is "Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin." It broadcasts nationally as part of the daytime Emmy-winning "Weekend Adventure," a three-hour programming block airing Saturday mornings on 98 percent of the country's ABC affiliate stations. In season three, Corwin takes audiences to Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Madagascar, the Seychelles, the Canary Islands and Mumbai, India.

Vacation Creation with Tommy Davidson and Andrea Feczko" also returns to ABC's "Weekend Adventure" and takes viewers beyond the typical travel show by personalizing vacations of a lifetime for couples, individuals and families facing hardship, in need of hope or seeking much-needed time together. In its third season, episodes include visits to the Shetland Islands in Scotland where they go on an excursion to explore the origins of the popular Shetland Ponies; a trip to Iceland where they take in the geo-thermic wonders of Reykjavik; and they sail to Cuba to explore the sights and sounds of Old Havana.

"The Voyager with Josh Garcia" returns to NBC for a third year as part of the network's nationally broadcasted "The More You Know" programming block. In the new season, viewers will travel with Garcia to Abu Dhabi; Aqaba, Jordan; Muscat, Oman; Kuala Lumpur and Manila, Philippines. In one very special episode, Garcia joins a group of fellow passengers for a new kind of adventure – voluntourism - where they help build a playground for a community in Honduras and then meet with an elderly group in Cozumel, Mexico who teach Garcia and friends how to make authentic salsa.

Carnival Corporation's original series – which debuted in fall 2016 and are distributed by Litton Entertainment – have been honored with two Daytime Emmy nominations and 24 Telly Awards, which recognize the best in TV and cable, digital and streaming, as well as non-broadcast productions.

The original content is part of Carnival Corporation's focus on producing and broadly distributing engaging and compelling experiential content. All three shows continue to be ranked as number one or number two in their time slot, and collectively reach an average of more than five million viewers every weekend. With cruise vacations growing 20 percent faster than land-based vacations and with more people than ever taking cruise vacations in 2018, the strong ratings are further evidence that Americans' interest in cruise vacations is growing exponentially.

Season two of La Gran SorpresaTM – another series from Carnival Corporation that airs on Univision -- begins in late 2018 with a holiday special and extends into "wave" season, when many consumers book cruise vacations. The one-hour program is hosted by award-winning television personality Poncho de Anda and showcases how the power of travel reunites families.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 66.81 + 3.07%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 130.02 + 0.99%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.17 - 3.31%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 56.94 + 1.99%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which cruise ship sported two names (her official name and her marketing name) on her hull as she sailed the Caribbean and elsewhere during the mid-1990s?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
What was the last cruise ship completed for the Home Lines and what happened to her?

Answer - She was the Homeric. The 3rd (and last) ship built to order for Home Line. Today she is known as Thomson Dream.
courtesy of Robert Wilson, Ft. Lauderdale.


Cruise News - September 17, 2018

Celebrity Cruises Unveils The Grand Plaza
With Celebrity Edge less than three months from its first official sailing, Celebrity Cruises completes the final chapter of the ship's transformational design story, with the reveal of iconic spaces designed by renowned designers, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Jouin Manku Studio. This includes the stunning space that will become the beating heart of the year's most anticipated new ship, The Grand Plaza, yet another venue designed to break from traditional cruise ship thinking and shatter all expectations.

"We couldn't be happier that the excitement and anticipation around the launch of Celebrity Edge is growing each and every day," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "We're thrilled to give everyone another sneak peek of our transformational new ship with the unveiling of The Grand Plaza, the ever-evolving epicenter of Celebrity Edge, and even more beautiful installations brought to life by the truly visionary Jouin Manku, who infused a dynamism and energy that will be felt throughout the ship at almost every turn."

With the aspiration to completely transform the way guests connect to the world, Celebrity sought creative thinkers who were new to the cruise industry to ensure every aspect of Celebrity Edge would be a departure from traditional thinking about cruising.

Among those chosen were the Paris-based design duo of Jouin Manku, who are celebrated for drawing inspiration from a multitude of cultures and for merging cutting-edge technology with old-world craftsmanship. They are credited with world-famous works such as the Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. Together, the visionaries collaborated with the Celebrity team to bring these new concepts to life.

Jouin's connection to the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard was also found to be far rooted beyond his work on Celebrity Edge, noting: "The shipyard is very important for me and my family: My grandfather worked at this very yard, and when he passed away at a young age, they hired my grandmother so she could continue to support her family. This project was a very emotional one for me. Sanjit and I channeled that into our design, which inspired our unique approach in showing the craftmanship."

Mixing simplicity and modernity, The Grand Plaza takes inspiration from the glamourous days of transatlantic travel. At a time when cruise ships were at the heart of chic society, the center of these ships were traditionally spectacular ballrooms, accented with dramatic staircases and ornate chandeliers. They were social places to meet, greet, dine, drink and dance. The Grand Plaza pays homage to these powerful historic spaces and reinterprets them for the 21st century.

Spanning three decks at the heart of the ship, The Grand Plaza acts as the epicenter of Celebrity Edge, which radiates an energy that lures guests throughout the day, as it transforms both physically and atmospherically. Guests are drawn to the space by The Chandelier, a striking lighting feature – and art installation – that rises over the Martini Bar to the ceiling three decks above. Composed of five levels of 765 blades illuminated by dynamic LED strips that change color from day to night, The Chandelier weighs in at seven tons.

Here, guests will be transported to the lively piazzas of Italy, of which this sprawling 5,167 sq. ft. space was also inspired. Home to many of the incredible new specialty restaurants – including Raw on 5 and Fine Cut Steakhouse on Deck 5; Le Grand Bistro and Café al Bacio on Deck 4; and the new Grand Plaza Café on Deck 3 – The Grand Plaza truly is a grand space. At its center, on Deck 3, guests will find the breathtaking next evolution of the always-buzzing Martini Bar, one of the most popular venues across Celebrity's fleet. Adorning the edges of The Grand Plaza are intricately hand-stitched mesh screens, combining more than 13,500 pieces of metal, leather, and fabric.

In the morning, The Grand Plaza invites guests to enjoy a cappuccino and a croissant at either of the cafés. Guests can return to The Grand Plaza for afternoon tea or to indulge in a pre-dinner cocktail while enjoying unexpected pop-up performances. At nightfall, the energy transforms completely, and the space becomes the social epicenter of the ship, coming alive with live music.

The Grand Plaza remains a highlight of Jouin Manku's involvement in the design of Celebrity Edge, but their influence can be felt throughout the ship.

Inspired by the thousands of hands that go in to the construction of a ship – such as Jouin's grandfather, who was a welder in the construction of the S.S. Normandie – Jouin Manku designed the exposed corridor. Complete with authentic welders' touches, architects' markings and engineers' notes, the exposed corridor uncovers the bare hull of the ship leading to and from The Grand Plaza and the main dining rooms. The space transforms depending on the direction a guest is walking, like a life-sized lenticular wall. One way, guests will see the unadorned beauty of the ship's steel bones, while heading in the other direction guests will see a sleek, modern design that starkly contrasts the alternate view.

"When we were asked to work on The Grand Plaza, one of our biggest inspirations were people in the shipyard who were able to manipulate steel as if it were plastic," said Manku. "Their awe-inspiring craftsmanship inspired us and had us asking ourselves 'How can we show the bones of the ship?' Because the bones are so beautiful, you don't need to put a cover on them."

Jouin Manku's influence is also strikingly apparent in the Main Dining Atrium, where they've taken the concept of a staircase and turned it into a work of art. Hanging three stories between the flights of stairs is yet another meaningful art installation known as The Pendulum. The Pendulum base moves ever so gently to the rhythms of the ocean to remind guests that they are indeed moving and connected to the sea, even when they cannot see it.

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces Summer 2020 Itineraries
Norwegian Cruise Line, the innovator in cruise travel, today opened for sale summer 2020 itineraries for 11 of its 17 ships, including upcoming voyages for Norwegian Encore, the company’s highly anticipated ship setting sail in 2019. The cruise line also opened summer 2021 through spring 2022 sailings on its Pride of America ship. P>With voyages to the most popular destinations in the world, the summer 2020 schedule includes three ships cruising to Alaska, four ships voyaging in Europe and two sailing to Bermuda from New York City and Boston, including Norwegian Encore, which begins sailing from the city that never sleeps on April 22, 2020.

“We’re proud of the itineraries we’ve carefully curated for our guests, which allow them to experience some of the most sought-after destinations around the globe,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Summer 2020 is especially exciting as our Breakaway-Plus class will be making waves all over the world, from Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss in Alaska to Norwegian Encore in Bermuda and Norwegian Escape’s debut in Europe as our newest ship in the region.”

Alaska – Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Jewel

Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Jewel will sail to Alaska in summer 2020, as the youngest and most exciting fleet in the region. Sister ships, Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss, return to the state with seven-day cruises from Seattle, Washington beginning May 9 and May 10 respectively. In Alaska, Norwegian Joy will call to Holkham Bay, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Ketchikan, and in British Columbia, she will call in Victoria. Norwegian Bliss will call to Glacier Bay, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, Alaska as well as Victoria, British Columbia.

Rounding out the Alaskan fleet, beginning May 11, Norwegian Jewel returns to Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska to sail her incredibly popular seven-day Glacier Bay Northbound and Inside Passage itineraries.

Europe – Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Escape will make her European debut on May 29 offering nine-day cruises to the Baltic region from Copenhagen, Denmark with calls to Warnemünde, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia, Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm (Nynashamn), Sweden and an overnight in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Norwegian Escape will be one of the newest and largest Norwegian ships to homeport in Europe offering guests flexibility and choice with over 27 dining options, 21 bars and lounges, Broadway-style entertainment and more.

For the first time, beginning May 15, Norwegian Dawn will cruise from Europe offering seven-to-eleven-day sailings to the Greek Isles from Venice, Italy. From May 8, Norwegian Getaway will offer ten-and-eleven-day cruises to the Greek Isles and Italy from Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy. Both Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Getaway will visit Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos, Greece, among other Mediterranean cities. Norwegian Epic’s European summer 2020 itineraries will open for sale on October 16, 2018.

Bermuda – Norwegian Encore and Norwegian Gem

Following her inaugural season in the Caribbean, Norwegian Encore will reposition from Miami, Florida to New York City offering seven-day cruises to Bermuda beginning April 22, while Norwegian Gem will offer seven-day voyages from Boston to Bermuda beginning May 1. Both ships’ seven-day itineraries overnight in port offering guests three days in Bermuda.

Caribbean – Norwegian Breakaway

Beginning April 23, Norwegian Breakaway returns to Miami with a selection of five-and-seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean visiting Roatan and Bay Islands, Honduras; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; and the resort-style island destination of Harvest Caye in Southern Belize. She will also sail a variety of three-and-four-day cruises to the Bahamas calling to Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island.

Bahamas & Florida / Canada & New England – Norwegian Pearl

As of May 23, for the first time, Norwegian Pearl will homeport in New York City offering select seven, ten and eleven-day cruises to Canada and New England with calls to Halifax, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; Bar Harbor and Portland, Maine; and Newport, Rhode Island. She will also offer seven-day voyages to Bahamas and Florida with visits to Port Canaveral, Florida; Nassau and Norwegian’s private island paradise, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, which will have recently undergone enhancements as part of Norwegian Edge, the company’s commitment to elevating the standard of excellence across its fleet and resort-style destinations.

Hawaii – Pride of America

Pride of America will continue cruising her seven-day inter-island itinerary that offers nearly 100 hours of port time in Hawaii’s main islands, including calls in Hilo, Kona, and overnight stays in Kahului, Maui and Nãwiliwili, Kauai with an afternoon cruising past the breathtaking Nãpali Coast. Norwegian’s Pride of America will depart from Honolulu every Saturday beginning May 1, 2021 through April 2022.

Cunard Unveils Expanded Program of 2020 Summer Voyages
Cunard Line has announced its expanded voyage program for the remainder of 2020, including new voyages to the Norwegian Fjords, Japan and Australia. Guests will have the opportunity to experience true luxury and relaxation on Cunard's iconic ships – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria – while traveling around the world.

Cunard will continue many of its classic voyages, including its signature Transatlantic Crossing between New York and London, while adding new itineraries in Western Europe and Southeast Asia. Whether choosing a three-night short break or a 19-night Grand Voyage, Cunard guests will enjoy a blend of iconic, world-class cities and lesser-known, charming destinations.

In total, the Cunard fleet will travel over 169,000 nautical miles with calls at 110 destinations in 34 different countries, with eight maiden calls including Bornholm, Denmark; Nordfjordeid, Norway; Ringaskiddy, Ireland; Jakarta, Indonesia; as well as Kurhiro, Ishigaki and Tokyo, Japan. Cunard will also offer a selection of two-night calls in major cities including Barcelona, Hong Kong and Québec and late evening departures which allow guests more time in port for deeper exploration in places such as Juneau, Alaska, Aomori, Japan , Malaga, Spain, and Tromsø, Norway.

"2020 represents the most extensive deployment of Cunard ships ever," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "In addition to visiting incredible destinations such as Norway, Japan, and Asia, we are excited to offer guests longer time in port to enjoy these iconic destinations. Nearly 90% of all port calls on voyages in Summer 2020 are in port 10 hours or longer."

Queen Mary 2

Flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2 will continue to be the only ship to offer regularly-scheduled service between New York and London, making 19 7- to 8-night Transatlantic Crossings from April through December in 2020. Voyage itineraries range from seven to 21 nights and include port calls in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and Le Havre, France, along with overnight calls in Québec and Reykjavik and evening departures in Boston and Halifax. Queen Mary 2 will also sail two Norwegian Fjords voyages ranging from seven to 25 nights and five Western European voyages for three to five nights.

Queen Mary 2 voyage highlights include:

• Nine 14- to 15-night Transatlantic Crossings roundtrip from either New York or London

• Two 21-night sailings with calls to Canada, Iceland and Scotland – one sailing roundtrip from New York, the other roundtrip from London

• Fourth of July seven-night Independence Day cruise roundtrip from New York

• Four seven-night voyages between New York and Québec

• Eight 14-night New England & Canada voyages which begin and end in ports of New York, Québec, Southampton or Le Havre

Queen Elizabeth

Continuing with the exciting new voyage types first introduced in 2019, Queen Elizabeth, will continue to roam among far-flung and beloved destinations to bring our guests a taste of the exotic in Fall 2020. Starting in September, Queen Elizabeth will embark on three roundtrip voyages from Tokyo as well as Grand Voyages that cover the North Pacific, East Asia and Australia. These can be taken as shorter individual voyages from two to 18-nights, or grouped together into longer combinations of up to 40 nights, to satisfy any discerning guest's need for exploration.

Queen Elizabeth highlights include:

• Five Roundtrip Tokyo itineraries with varying lengths and destinations

• Five Southeast Asia voyages, ranging from seven to 23 nights

Queen Victoria

Cunard's Queen Victoria will return to Southampton in early spring after embarking on a circumnavigation of South America. She will continue to sail Northern Europe itineraries in addition to seven shorter Western Europe voyages ranging from two to seven nights. She will make seven maiden calls with overnight stays in the major cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Reykjavik and St. Petersburg, and evening departures in Bodo, Narvik and Tromsø, Norway, Dublin, Ireland, Hamburg, Germany, Malaga, Spain, and Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Queen Victoria highlights include:

• Four Baltic voyages, ranging from nine to 16 nights

• Four Norwegian Fjords voyages, ranging from seven to 12 nights

• Three Atlantic Coast/Iberia voyages, ranging from 10 to 12 nights

• Two 12-night Iceland voyages

• Two 12-night North Cape voyages (with a high likelihood of seeing the Northern Lights at Alesund)

• Two Western Mediterranean voyages, ranging from 14 to 17 nights

• A 12-night British Isles voyage

Queen Victoria maiden calls:

• Bodo, Norway

• Bornholm, Denmark

• Riga, Latvia

• Nordfjordeid, Norway

• Leknes, Norway

• Skjolden, Norway

• Ringaskiddy (for tours to Cork), Ireland

Carnival Corporation Launches OceanView Mobile
Carnival Corporation today announced it is launching OceanView Mobile – the first travel content app from a travel provider that lets people explore the most popular destinations wherever and whenever they choose.

OceanView Mobile is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play, and features free content from Carnival Corporation. OceanView also will be available in late October on the company's Ocean.com website.

Viewers can select from a slate of more than 150 full episodes from favorite "Ocean Original" shows like The Voyager with Josh Garcia (which airs weekly on NBC); Ocean TreksTM with Jeff Corwin and Vacation CreationTM with Tommy Davidson and Andrea Feczko (both of which air weekly on ABC); and Good Spirits, as well as 30 short-form episodes of original series, "GO" and "Local Eyes."

OceanView also will showcase video collections from the corporation's cruise brands, with viewers able to check out memorable new-ship christening ceremonies featuring royalty and celebrities, as well as the fascinating process of ship design and construction, elaborate culinary creations from world-renown chefs and ever-evolving ship attractions.

"Our Ocean Originals already are the most popular travel series on TV in the U.S., and now travel fans around the world can watch their favorite shows anytime they want, from wherever they are – whether that's at home, on the go or on our ships," said John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival Corporation. "Our ability to extend consumer brand engagement from broadcast TV to all major video-on-demand platforms, all major over-the-top platforms and all major mobile platforms is unprecedented in the travel industry. This allows us to showcase the extraordinary experiences available on cruise vacations to millions of potential guests, and to help them get excited about where they'll go next, whenever they prefer."

Carnival Corporation's creation and strategic distribution of compelling and authentic experiential content is part of the company's larger strategy to increase awareness and demand for cruise vacations. The three network shows consistently rank as number one or number two in their time slots. With cruise vacations growing 20 percent faster than land-based vacations and with more people than ever taking cruise vacations in 2018, the strong ratings are further evidence that global interest in cruise vacations is becoming more and more popular.

"Ocean Originals" use compelling and authentic storytelling to share the powerful way travel by sea connects people, places and cultures by showcasing exciting adventures, exotic cultures and popular global destinations. Ships from all nine of the company's cruise line brands ­– Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK) – serve as the platform for engaging and emotional experiences.

All OceanView Mobile content is free to watch.

• "Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin" (ABC)
"Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin" follows Emmy-winning host Jeff Corwin as he embarks on adventures in some of the world's most exciting destinations, such as rappelling down cliffs, flight-seeing to glacier landings, mountain climbing in a national park and zip lining through a rainforest. The show broadcasts nationally as part of the Daytime Emmy-winning block Weekend Adventure, a three-hour programming block airing Saturday mornings on 98 percent of the country's ABC affiliate channels, and begins its third season on October 6.

• "Vacation Creation" (ABC)
"Vacation Creation," featuring "In Living Color" star and comedian Tommy Davidson and YouTube celebrity Andrea Feczko as hosts, goes beyond the typical travel show by personalizing vacations of a lifetime for couples, individuals and families facing hardship, in need of hope or seeking much-needed time together. The series airs on ABC stations and its third season begins October 6.

• "The Voyager with Josh Garcia" (NBC)
"The Voyager with Josh Garcia" follows video journalist and world-traveler Josh Garcia as he goes off the beaten path in fascinating seaside ports to meet locals who share their rich history, life stories and exotic foods, and introduces viewers to the hidden beauty, cultural diversity and amazing flavors native to each destination. The program airs as part of NBC's three-hour programming block that extends the network's "The More You Know" brand with inspiring stories on NBC stations throughout the country on Saturday mornings. Season three launches October 6.

• "Good Spirits" (A&E, FYI)
"Good Spirits" joins pioneering cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello sailing the globe on the company's world-leading cruise lines in search of extraordinary everyday people, sharing stories of spirits and collecting farm-fresh, native ingredients to inspire one-of-a-kind cocktail creations. The show originally aired on A&E and FYI and now can be seen on the OceanView AppleTV, Roku and Amazon Fire channel.

Two short-form series -- "GO" and "Local Eyes" -- are five to 10 minutes in length, feeding a growing interest for shorter, "snackable" content, with episode collections that are released periodically.

• "GO"
With visually stunning cinematography, "GO" chronicles the artist and explorer Trek Thunder Kelly as he travels the world by ocean in search of his next exotic destination. Through his passion for authentic experiences and ability to strike up a conversation with fellow travelers, viewers are transported to new and interesting places, and introduced to extraordinary people who live there, creating epic adventures that provide inspiration for getting off the couch and traveling near and far.

• "Local Eyes"
From Trieste to Curacao and Cabernet to Moko Jumbie, "Local Eyes" introduces viewers to unique destinations through those who know each destination the best – local residents. Hosted by dynamic world traveler Anji Corley, "Local Eyes" immerses viewers into the authentic side of each destination, as Corley interacts with everyday people living in each destination who share compelling stories about local culture, history, places off-the-beaten path and more. Viewers will see destinations in a whole new light after watching Local Eyes.

Cruises Make Happier Holidays
Strange things will be happening on the high seas for Halloween, and Santa Claus will be visiting cruise ships around the world in December. No matter the holiday, cruise lines go all out getting into the spirit with special decorations, traditional food and a plethora of fun activities.

Expect to see your ship done up in black and orange and with goblins and witches wandering around for Halloween; serving turkey with over-the-top trimmings for Thanksgiving; festooned stem-to-stern for Christmas; and becoming the scene for extravagant dress-up parties for New Year's.

And all you have to do is have fun. No need to entertain, or do the cooking – and cleaning -- yourself.

Oktoberfest and Christmas, German style

Experience an Oktoberfest to remember on the high seas with German line AIDA Cruises. The celebration embraces Bavarian tent-style activities from arm wrestling to yodeling. Popular German bands will be onboard AIDAperla and AIDAprima for live performances. Both ships will serve a special Oktoberfest beer brewed in the ships' own breweries, to be enjoyed while sitting or dancing on benches. Traditional Bavarian culinary fare will include pork knuckle, sausage salad and dumplings. Wearing traditional dress is encouraged.

Christmas and New Year's sailings bring AIDA Cruises guests to destinations including the Caribbean, Canary Islands, Mediterranean and Southeast Asia. Ships include the brand new AIDAnova, the first ship in the world powered at sea and in port with liquefied natural gas, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. Advent cruises celebrate with Christmas carol singalongs, Advent calendars, trees and other Christmas decorations and gingerbread. Christmas markets take place onboard, making holiday shopping easy. Goose is served on Christmas Eve.

Celebrating with Pirate Patch and The Grinch

For the month of October, Carnival Cruise Line is expanding its already popular "Frightfully Fun" Halloween programming with even more "spook-tacular" activities. The celebration will include costume contests, trick-or-treating and special holiday versions of live deck parties, trivia, Dive-In Movies, arts and crafts, and bingo. The centerpiece of the fun will be Patch, Carnival Cruise Line's pumpkin pirate, who will stand guard in the atrium on each ship.

Starting in late November, it's "Grinchmas Time" throughout the Carnival Cruise Line fleet. Though Mr. Grinch may be "a mean one" as part of the line's exclusive Seuss at Sea program, and decked out in his green "Santy Claus" costume, he's actually a leader of fun. The young and young at heart can catch a glimpse of the cantankerous curmudgeon as he slinks and slithers throughout the ship, with both scheduled appearances and spontaneous pop-up visits.

Carnival Cruise Line's 26 ships also celebrate the holidays with ornately decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, mistletoe, caroling and appearances by Santa Claus, as well as traditional food including roast turkey and pecan pie on Christmas Day.

British holiday celebrations on P&O Cruises

Beginning in late November, special Christmas Market cruises visit markets around Europe, giving P&O Cruises guests opportunity to stock up on gifts, ranging from fine Belgium chocolates to handmade artisan gifts from Amsterdam and everything in between.

The seven ships in the fleet will be lavishly decorated with a total of 249 Christmas trees, adorned with twinkling lights and more than 44,000 decorations. Christmas dinners, festive-themed entertainment and holiday-themed films get everyone in the holiday spirit. On the line's family-friendly ships, Father Christmas comes down the ship's funnel. Guests can choose Christmas sailings in the Caribbean, Baltic and Canary Islands.

Ultra-luxury celebrations on Seabourn

Guests on Seabourn's five ultra-luxury ships will celebrate the holidays in destinations around the world. There's Christmas and New Year's in Australia and the South Pacific or the opportunity to embrace the spirit in the stark white scenery of Antarctica. Guests on Seabourn Odyssey may spend some holiday time beachcombing in the Caribbean, while those on the new Seabourn Ovation will be exploring Thailand and Vietnam.

On all the ships, Thanksgiving brings a traditional turkey dinner. During Hanukkah and Christmas, the Seabourn ships are transformed into holiday wonderlands with gingerbread village displays and evergreen hangings draping railings and balusters. New Year's Eve brings a formal party with a memorable toast to 2019.

A holiday wonderland on Princess Cruises

It actually snows in the atrium on Princess Cruises ships, even if you're celebrating the holidays in the sunny Caribbean or other warm local. Passengers mingle with Kris Kringle, as yuletide carolers sing the classics, and the halls are decked with trees with red ribbons – even the ships' masts get Christmas trees.

There is opportunity to sip eggnog and make gingerbread houses as a family. Christmas dinner brings a choice of roast turkey or goose with all the trimmings. Special holiday parties take place in the youth and teen centers, with cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer on Christmas Eve.

Princess Cruises also goes all out for Halloween, with various spooky decorations, a Fright Night Party and costume contest and a special scavenger hunt for families. Thanksgiving festivities include the ever-popular turkey calling contest.

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is celebrated with a menorah-lighting ceremony, themed crafts, festive décor and such traditional delicacies as potato latkes. New Year's brings a countdown party culminating with a balloon drop and celebratory champagne toast.

Relax during New Year's Day with college bowl championship games shown on the outdoor movie screen and a football tailgate party with game-day treats.

Holland America Line ships add holiday sparkle

On the ships of Holland America Line, Halloween is celebrated with a pumpkin-carving contest where passengers vote their favorite. Kids go trick-or-treating around the ship (parents can join in, too) as part of the Club HAL program, and some crew wear costumes. There's also a costume dance party for guests – with awards (candy) given for funniest, most creative, best team and best overall costumes.

Thanksgiving brings fall décor, spiced pumpkin lattes and an impressive turkey dinner capped with a big selection of pies and desserts.

Whether you are sailing in the Caribbean on the newly launched Nieuw Statendam and other ships or in Australia, Asia, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera or Asia, a highlight of Christmas Eve is a tree-lighting ceremony and Christmas carols in the atrium, with one child chosen to throw "snow" at the tree – a cue for the holiday lights to be turned on. There's also a Christmas Eve concert featuring international crew members singing carols.

On Christmas morning, Santa arrives and kids, 'tweens and teens receive wrapped presents. Clergy are onboard leading services for Hanukkah and Christmas.

New Year's Eve is celebrated with a gala ball and champagne toast, followed by a selection of college football bowl games shown on New Year's Day.

Embracing tradition with Cunard

A transatlantic or other voyage on a Cunard ocean liner is always an occasion, but even more so when the ships embrace the holiday spirit – especially since the line has nearly two centuries of experience in celebrating.

During the season, Christmas decorations include poinsettias and other seasonal flowers. Gingerbread villages are displayed. There's a festive buffet lunch on embarkation day, and special menus are created for gala dinners on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Children participate in workshops, decorating cookies and gingerbread.

Holiday cruises Down Under

On the ships of P&O Cruises Australia, Halloween gets spooky with decorations, costumes, themed treats and entertainment for kids and adults alike. Dance enthusiasts can learn routines to iconic tracks such as the "Time Warp" and "Thriller," before showing off their moves at a special Halloween fright night party. Kids will have a ball with activities that include pumpkin and ice-carving, murder mystery games, scavenger hunts, face painting and a junior Monster Mash party. Expect popup appearances by witches and such.

Christmas on the Australian line's ships embrace the "throw a shrimp on the barbie" spirit. With the warm summer temperatures, guests can stay in their flip flops while enjoying such activities as carolling, cookie decorating and visits by Santa.

Christmas Eve brings a special variety concert and Christmas Day is all about lunch and dinner. On Boxing Day, the ships sponsor Backyard Cricket on a special pitch at sea. On New Year's Eve there are parties around the ship including on the top deck, with the South Pacific as the backdrop.

Australia Day on January 26, 2019, is another cause for shipboard celebration, with themed entertainment for guests of all ages – including meat pies and other Aussie eats and an Australian national anthem sing off.

Experience the holidays Italian style

Santa Claus comes onboard to personally host experiences, pose for photos and help make memories at Christmastime on ships from Italy-based Costa Cruises, whether they are cruising in the Mediterranean, South America or the Caribbean. A special show production is themed around the holiday and there are gifts for all kids onboard under a traditional tree. Special menus enhance the festive atmosphere and include a touch of Italian classic tastes – such as Italian panettone or pandoro for dessert.

Memorable New Year's Eve parties bring surprises, and there is opportunity to celebrate on December 31 at the pool, where the giant LED screen broadcasts New Year's events in various time zones around the world.

Tips for Holiday Cruises

• Plan ahead. Holiday sailings are popular, so it's important to book well in advance to get the stateroom of your choice.

• Splurge on space. Especially if you are bringing the family, you will want room to spread out. Book a balcony and you can feel warm sea breezes in your own space, while you think of your friends and relatives in snowy locales.

• Leave the bulk of the gifts back home. You don't want fill your luggage with gifts. Bring one special item for each family member, and plan to open the rest later. Or better yet, seek out surprises in the onboard shops.

• Bring treats for the crew. These hardworking folks are away from home during the holidays and will appreciate your acts of kindness.

• Pick up ornaments at each port of call. They'll help you remember your great holiday experience for years to come.

Princess Cruises Welcomes Cruisers of All Ages
Princess Cruises, the cruise line known for taking guests around the globe to more than 380 destinations, reminds families that guests of all ages are welcome aboard to explore the world on a cruise ship - considered one of the best vacation options for multigenerational families.

The cruise line is celebrating its fourth year of an exclusive partnership with Discovery, offering immersive Discovery at SEA experiences, including newly branded Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers, Discovery Family shore excursions and many educational and interactive activities, ultimately creating lifelong memories for families of all ages.

Since 2014, more than 1,000 Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery Family shore excursions in worldwide ports have been added, including 300 exclusive tours that can only be experienced with Princess Cruises. In addition, onboard programming such as Stargazing at Sea has allowed guests to look up and learn about billions of stars on deck under the night sky.

"Over the last several years, we've made a dedicated effort to welcome cruisers of all ages to enjoy the diverse range of family fun, educational and entertaining activities through our Discovery at SEA programs," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "While some cruise lines are now restricting the age of their younger guests, we believe a cruise vacation is the perfect way for families of all ages and sizes to come together to discover the world, relax onboard and reconnect with loved ones."

Swartz added, "We frequently hear from multigenerational families that they love cruising with us because we've done all of the planning for them – from selecting the best tours in port to providing engaging onboard entertainment. All they have to do is come aboard and let us take care of every detail. And, grandparents, children and grandkids alike can all choose their preferred activities, then reunite for dinner to share their experiences."

Discovery at SEA activities include:

Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery Family Shore Excursions – More than 300 Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery Family Exclusive shore excursions offer family-themed experiences in more than 130 ports of call, providing enriching content, food and activities. From "Irish for a Day" in Dublin, to "Alaska Fishing and Wilderness Dining" in Ketchikan to "Meet the Sloths" in Costa Rica, tour options are plentiful, meaningful and engaging for all ages.

Stargazing at Sea & Voyage to the Stars Indoor Planetarium – Science Channel and Princess Cruises take guests on a cosmic voyage looking at the sky from the top deck on an interactive guided tour with a Stargazing Specialist, identifying major constellations and learning the secrets of the stars and the folklore around them. The indoor "Voyage of the Stars Planetarium" displays real-time images of the solar system and planets. Both indoor and outdoor stargazing includes commentary from Discovery at Sea's Science Channel Ambassador Astrophysicist Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi and Kari Bryon from Mythbusters.

Camp Discovery – Newly rebranded "Camp Discovery" (ages 3-12) and "The Beach House" (ages 13-17) Youth & Teen Centers offer younger cruisers engaging new experiences and wonder-filled centers inspiring creativity, curiosity and entertainment. Popular activities include:

• Jawsome Mythbusters hands-on challenges, developed with Tori Belleci from Mythbusters.

• Animal Planet uncovers ferocious secrets in Shark Attack and learn squid anatomy in Just Squiddin' Around.

• Become an engineer for the day and learn the science of magic with programs from the California Science Center, home of the Endeavour space shuttle.

Teens hanging out in surf-themed lounge, "The Beach House," socialize and connect with video game tournaments, air hockey, ping pong, scavenger hunts, hip-hop classes, dance competitions, parties with mocktails, late night movies and board games.

High Seas Heist with Detective Joe Kenda – Calling all mystery lovers, Princess guests go on the case with celebrity detective Lt. Joe Kenda to see if they can solve a heist whodunit. This voyage-long experience begins with the theft of a rare necklace and ends with the unmasking of the culprit. In between is a journey full of puzzles, clues and activities as guests narrow down their suspect list with help from Lt. Kenda via video segments.

Discovery Hit Shows – Discovery at SEA incorporates content from hit shows and programming like Shark Week, Finding Bigfoot and Mythbusters through activities, challenges and trivia.

Additional programming geared towards younger cruisers includes:

Jr.CHEF@Sea – Princess Chefs host a hands-on food preparation workshop for junior guests, ages 8-12, in the main galley areas. Participants learn how to decorate a cake or make a fruit pizza and even suit up in mini toques and chef aprons and receive a certificate and photo.

Glacier Bay Jr. Rangers Program – Developed with the National Park Service, Jr. Rangers is designed to bring Glacier Bay and the Alaska wilderness to life for thousands of children each summer. The highly regarded program features interactive games, activity books and presentations by Park Rangers. Upon completion of the program, each child is designated a Jr. Ranger and receives his/her very own rangers badge and certificate.

Princess Cruises even offers onboard group babysitting at designated times for $5/hour per child. The minimum guest age allowed is six months (12 months on some of the cruise line's more exotic itineraries.)

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 64.82 + 4.57%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 128.74 + 3.89%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.231 - 1.63%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 55.83 + 4.51%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
What was the last cruise ship completed for the Home Lines and what happened to her?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Very few photographs taken on board the Titanic during her fateful maiden voyage survived the ship's sinking. Name the passenger who contributed the largest collection and how did he or she survive the sinking?

Answer - The passenger that took the most photos on the Titanic's maiden voyage was Father Francis Brown. He was onboard the Titanic only to her second port of call, Queens Town (now Cobth), Ireland and therefore was not on the Titanic at the time of the sinking.
courtesy of Monica Graham, Cleveland OH


Cruise News - September 10, 2018

Norwegian Encore Hull Artwork Unveiled
Norwegian Cruise Line today revealed that Eduardo Arranz-Bravo, the award-winning Spanish artist, created the hull artwork for the fourth and final ship of its Breakaway-Plus class, Norwegian Encore, debuting in Miami in November 2019.

A representation of his modern and abstract style, the ship’s hull will feature a labyrinth of color inspired by Arranz-Bravo’s life by the sea in Barcelona and paying tribute to the vibrant guest experience for which the Norwegian brand is recognized.

“Norwegian Cruise Line is a dynamic, pioneering company known for its innovative experiences and breathtaking collection of beautifully designed ships,” said Arranz-Bravo. “I am honored to not only bring that vibrancy to life even more on Norwegian Encore but also showcase my love for the ocean and my hometown of Barcelona.”

Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, played a key role in the selection of Arranz-Bravo as the hull artist for Norwegian Encore, having been inspired by his work for many years. Del Rio’s passion for the arts has helped elevate Norwegian’s on-board experience, most recently with the multi-million-dollar-art collection curated for Norwegian Bliss.

“We are well-known for our iconic hull designs and know that Arranz-Bravo’s lively design will complement the colorful destinations in the Caribbean that Norwegian Encore will visit when she debuts next year,” said Del Rio.

Recognized for his inventive and humanistic approach to abstract art, Arranz-Bravo’s work is showcased throughout the world and portrays a constant evolution that some refer to as futuristic. He is highly regarded, having been the recipient of countless awards and accolades, and was one of three artists chosen to represent the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona.

“Eduardo’s design will be a perfect complement to the collection of hull artwork within our fleet and is a testament to the dynamic experience our guests will have on board,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are proud to welcome him to our Norwegian Cruise Line family.”

At approximately 167,800 gross tons and accommodating up to 4,000 guests, Norwegian Encore will complete the Breakaway-Plus class, the most successful class in the company’s history. She is currently being built at Meyer Werft, in Papenburg, Germany and will feature many innovative dining, entertainment and recreational activities that guests have come to expect from the industry-leading brand.

Following her unveiling, she will cruise out of Miami every Sunday and sail seven-day voyages to the Eastern Caribbean, beginning with her first journey on November 17, 2019 through April 12, 2020.

Disney Set To Expand Miami Operations
Disney Cruise Line has been ramping up its profile since announcing a three-newbuild expansion. Ships are set for delivery in 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. Now, the line is also making some interesting port moves, as well.

At present, Disney operates seasonally out of PortMiami under a preferential berthing agreement. That agreement expires at the end of this month. But, an amended agreement approved by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners last week goes much further. In fact, it provides for an eventual year-round presence for the line.

Under the new agreement, Disney commits to bring an additional 50,000 passengers through the port in the next four years. And, the line's presence at PortMiami will really surge in 2023. That's when the line will begin year-round operations there. In doing so, Disney agrees to increase annual passenger estimates from 150,000 to 360,000.

It will also mark the first time Disney deploys a ship year-round from a homeport other than Port Canaveral, Fla.

Disney will offer year-round four- and five-day cruises in 2023. In 2024, it agrees to bring a second, seasonal ship to sail three and four-day cruises from PortMiami.

Additionally, Disney also has first rights to build a new terminal to the east of Terminal J, on the south side of the port. Construction depends, however, on the successful widening of the nearby channel and turning basin. If that isn't feasible, Disney and the port can explore other options.

"Disney Cruise Line has been a valued cruise partner at PortMiami since November 2012," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez in a statement

"With new vessels on order through 2023, we are collaborating with the Disney team on a memorandum of understanding for the potential development of a new cruise terminal project.

"The new facility will allow the port to expand its cruise business by accommodating Disney vessels capable of carrying more than 3,500 passengers. Investing in PortMiami's infrastructure positions Miami as a global destination for visitors. We couldn't be more excited to work with Disney on expanding growth opportunities in Miami-Dade County."

The move to Miami will put Disney in the same year-round operator status as Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International. Several of the other lines have announced splashy new terminals there. Royal Caribbean's 170,000 sq. ft. structure is under construction. And, officials have recently approved a wave-shaped white terminal for Norwegian Cruise Line. MSC also has a terminal in the works.

Other remodeling is taking place at Terminal C, and extensive upgrades are underway to other terminals. PortMiami is the world's busiest cruise port. The Disney Magic will sail from the port as of December 4.

Eight Holland America Line Ships Set to Soak Up the Sun on Caribbean Cruises in 2018-19
Travelers looking to cruise to the idyllic, sun-drenched beaches of the Caribbean will have more than 100 Holland America Line cruises to choose from between October 2018 and April 2019. Ranging from three to 21 days, guests will have their pick of eight of the line's premium, mid-sized ships including, the newest addition to the fleet, Nieuw Statendam.

Holland America Line's expansive variety of itineraries explore the eastern, western and southern regions of the Caribbean; some sail to Cuba and others spend a day discovering the Panama Canal. Seven ships will sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, while Rotterdam takes over the roundtrip Tampa, Florida, departures.

Most Fort Lauderdale departures include a visit to what has been called the best private island in the cruise industry: Half Moon Cay, the line's award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine beaches, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and child-friendly activities. Caribbean itineraries this season also introduce Nieuw Statendam on its premier season with cruises from three to 17 days.

Guests aboard Holland America Line will enjoy a diverse blend of popular ports and dozens of less-visited gems while relaxing aboard spacious, mid-sized ships that offer premium amenities, engaging activities and contemporary culinary experiences.

"The Caribbean continues to be a highly popular destination for both first-time cruisers and repeaters because it offers everything: beautiful scenery, tropical weather, diverse activities, a laid-back atmosphere and welcoming locals who are eager to share their customs and culture," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "By offering more than 100 sailings across eight mid-sized ships, including Nieuw Statendam, we're giving our guests more opportunities to tailor a cruise to their desires."

From October 2018 through April 2019, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Veendam and Zuiderdam sail more than 100 three- to 14-day cruises that can be combined into longer, back-to-back Collectors' Voyages ranging from 13 to 21 days.

Seven Ships Sail Roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale to Cuba and Beyond

In October 2018, Veendam kicks off the Caribbean season with a series of Cuban Explorer cruises. Guests can immerse themselves in Cuba's natural beauty and rich cultural history on a variety of seven-, 10-, 11- and 12-day itineraries through March 2019. Along with Havana and Cienfuegos, Cuba, the ship will call at several other Caribbean ports in Grand Cayman, Jamaica and Mexico. Veendam also offers a seven-day eastern Caribbean Holiday cruise in December and an 11-day southern Caribbean itinerary in January that do not visit Cuba.

Nieuw Statendam will kick off its maiden Caribbean season with a four-day cruise to the Bahamas in December. Following its inaugural Caribbean sailing, the ship will feature seven-day itineraries that offer both eastern and western routes. Nieuw Statendam also will offer a 10-day itinerary in January for guests interested in exploring lesser-visited ports in the southern Caribbean such as Kralendijk, Bonaire; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Barbados. Other southern Caribbean itineraries will be available on Nieuw Statendam's sister ship, Koningsdam, beginning in November 2018. Cruisers can choose seven-, 10- and 11-day itineraries.

Guests looking to experience the eastern or western regions of the Caribbean can do so aboard Nieuw Amsterdam on a series of seven-day cruises that showcase each region, featuring calls at St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk, Cozumel, Georgetown, Ocho Rios and more. Similarly, Oosterdam will offer a series of seven-day cruises that spotlight both eastern and western routes, as well as seven-day Tropical Caribbean itineraries that feature calls at ports in the Bahamas and Dominican Republic.

Partial Panama Canal Transits Explore Gatún Lake

Guests looking to explore the Panama Canal can experience a partial transit aboard Zuiderdam, sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale on 10- and 11-day cruises. The ship visits several Caribbean ports as it makes its way to Gatún Lake, where cruisers will enjoy a day of spectacular scenic cruising throughout the canal.

Roundtrip Tampa Itineraries

From October 2018 through April 2019 Rotterdam will sail roundtrip from Tampa on eight seven-day western itineraries and five 14-day southern itineraries. The ship visits some of the most beautiful ports and islands in the region including Key West; Curaçao; Mahogany Bay, Honduras; Costa Maya, Mexico; Aruba and St. Lucia.

Combine Back-to-Back Cruises to Form Longer Collectors' Voyages

Many of the cruises can be extended into Collectors' Voyages, which offer the ultimate Caribbean exploration with more economical fares than if booking the cruises individually. Ranging from 14 to 21 days, these artfully crafted longer journeys combine back-to-back itineraries, enabling guests to span more than one Caribbean area and have the ultimate island-hopping journey.

Celebrate the Season with a Festive Holiday Cruise

For travelers who like to get away for the winter holidays, a total of 14 holiday sailings will ply the warm waters of the Caribbean on far-reaching itineraries that range from seven to 14 days. Several non-repeating itineraries can be combined to form a longer Holiday Collectors' Voyage that can be extended up to 21 days.

Guests in search of a unique and extended itinerary can opt for Prinsendam's 14-day Caribbean Holiday cruise departing Dec. 21, 2018. The ship calls at ports in the British Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Barbados, Half Moon Cay, the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

During the holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all of the trimmings and indulge in special holiday events, many with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts. Hanukkah activities will be available on early December cruises.

The New Year's Eve sailings are the ideal setting to ring in a new year, featuring a festive holiday ball with a Champagne toast.

Cunard Announces New Insights Program
Cunard Cruise Line today announced culturally-rich onboard programming for 2019 voyages as the legendary brand returns to Alaska to offer its iconic experience in 'The Last Frontier.'

Queen Elizabeth will sail four 10-night roundtrip Alaska voyages out of Vancouver departing May 21, 31, June 10 and 20, 2019 with port calls in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Icy Strait Point and Victoria. Highlights include scenic cruising through the famous Inside Passage, Tracy Arm Fjord, and Hubbard Glacier.

"For our return to Alaska, Queen Elizabeth will bring Cunard's iconic luxury experience to one of the most magnificent places in the world," said Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. "More than our signature Gala evenings and award-winning White Star Service, our team has curated some of the most interesting and engaging speakers to join our Insights program in Alaska. Our guests will have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding about Alaska and its breathtaking landscape, rich cultural heritage and local cuisine."

Cunard's new Alaska Insights programming will include:

• Dr. Rachel Cartwright, an award-winning naturalist with 20 years' experience in Alaska. Author of "Alaska Cruise Companion: A Naturalist's Guide to the Inside Passage" and renowned expert on the behaviors of humpback whale mothers and their calves, Dr. Cartwright will offer presentations on the Alaskan ecosystem including whales, marine life and glaciers. Dr. Cartwright will also offer expert commentary live from the bridge during scenic cruising throughout the Inside Passage on all 2019 Alaska itineraries.

• Alaska Native Voices along with members of the Huna Tinglet tribe, a group native to Glacier Bay and Icy Strait, will offer lectures and workshops about their history, culture, and storytelling while cruising the Alaskan coastline. On all 2019 Alaska voyage, guests will have more opportunity to learn about Alaska's indigenous people at an information center hosted by cultural heritage guides onboard Queen Elizabeth.

• LaDonna Rose Gundersen, commercial fisherwoman and cookbook author, will be sharing her experiences and expertise with guests onboard the May 20, 2019 Alaska voyage (Q915B). A fisherwoman in Alaska for more than two decades, Gundersen has made a career out of catching and cooking delicious salmon and other fish using simple ingredients while at sea. She will be joined by her husband Ole Gundersen, a fellow fisherman and accomplished photographer known for his images inspired by life in Alaska.

Other festivities onboard Queen Elizabeth during her time in Alaska will include:

• Live bridge commentary to narrate scenic cruising areas

• Dedicated Alaska in-room entertainment, including Emmy Award-winning documentary series "The Ketchikan Story"

• Complimentary blankets and hot cocoa on deck for taking in the beauty of the Alaska coastline

Cunard will also offer Rocky Mountaineer rail tours pre- and post- voyage in Alaska, which include either three- or five- nights' accommodation and two full days aboard the train. The expedition travels through a spectacular array of scenery including the glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, winding river canyons, mountain passes and remarkable tunnels.

Seabourn Ovation To Call On Exotic Destinations, UNESCO Sites During Asia Cruise Season
Seabourn Cruise Line announced this week that it will return to Asia in late 2018 and early 2019 with an exciting schedule of voyages aboard its newest ship, Seabourn Ovation. From the natural splendors of Vietnam and Thailand to the modern skylines and urban culture of Hong Kong and Singapore, the yacht-like ship will visit an array of exotic destinations and fascinating cities, as well as offer a variety of optional shore excursions and pre- and post-cruise Seabourn Journeys to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in this inspiring part of the world.

"Asia has so many cities and towns on the must-see list of travelers and it's easy to see why, with its diverse culture, rich history and beautiful landscapes and scenery," said Chris Austin, Seabourn's senior vice president of Global Marketing & Sales. "We designed the voyages for Seabourn Ovation's inaugural season in Asia to take travelers to many of the most intriguing cities, including a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, while sailing on the world's finest resort at sea."

Seabourn Ovation's first season in Asia will begin in Singapore with a series of five 14-day Vietnam & Thailand voyages between Singapore and Hong Kong (departing December 22, 2018, and January 5, January 19, February 16 and March 2, 2019). These itineraries will feature a coveted overnight stay at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest city, bustling with culture and French colonial architecture that is also a gateway to a visit on the Mekong Delta. The voyages will also feature the line's popular Caviar in the Surf beach parties at Ko Kood in Thailand, a quaint island with sweeping sand beaches, as well as an extended day at scenic Halong Bay in Vietnam, allowing for optional excursions to the capital city of Hanoi with its blend of Asian and French heritage.

The season will also include a 14-day Gems of the South China Sea voyage from Hong Kong to Singapore (departing February 2, 2019), visiting destinations such as Xiamen, China and an overnight call in Manila, Philippines, providing options for appealing 28-day combo cruises with the Vietnam & Thailand voyages.

Seabourn Ovation is the second of two ships designed by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany. The ship features all oceanfront suites with private verandas, along with modern design elements and innovations in keeping with Seabourn's reputation for understated elegance, as well as one additional deck, expanded public areas and a brand-new, al fresco dining venue, "Earth & Ocean at The Patio".

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 61.99 + 0.81%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 123.92 + 1.09%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.23 - 7.52%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.42 - 0.35%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Very few photographs taken on board the Titanic during her fateful maiden voyage survived the ship's sinking. Name the passenger who contributed the largest collection and how did he or she survive the sinking?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - The ship involved would have been the Maxim Gorkiy near Spitzbergen.
courtesy of John Cruz


Cruise News - September 3, 2018

AIDA Cruises Introduces AIDAnova
AIDA Cruises, the leading cruise line in Germany, held a naming ceremony to welcome AIDAnova into their fleet – which will debut with innovative guest experience features and as the world's first cruise vessel to be powered at sea and in port by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel.

AIDAnova was named on Friday by Sonja (31) and Asad (33) Mirza and their children Sophia (2) and Adrian (3) of Hanau, Germany, who were selected from hundreds of applicants from all over Germany. Held at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg – the first naming of a cruise ship at the shipyard in more than 20 years – the celebration included a first-of-its-kind AIDA Open Air concert featuring a light show, fireworks display and live musical performance with superstar and two-time Grammy winner DJ David Guetta before a sold-out crowd of more than 25,000 with additional viewers tuning in via livestream.

"We are excited to introduce AIDAnova, the first ship of a new generation of vessels for AIDA Cruises that will help us further establish our position as a leader and pioneer in the cruise industry," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation. "AIDAnova will provide our guests with among the best in culture, entertainment, sports, wellness and culinary delights, while helping maintain the popularity and growth of AIDA Cruises as the most popular cruise line in Germany."

AIDAnova marks an exciting new generation of ships for AIDA Cruises that combine innovative design with state-of-the-art technology to provide even greater onboard comfort and further enhance the guest experience. Expected to launch in November 2018, AIDAnova will have more than 40 different restaurants and bars on board to provide guests with an opportunity to enjoy a new level of world-class dining experiences and culinary trends.

AIDAnova will also make history as the world's first cruise ship to be powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel – an innovation that will reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support Carnival Corporation's aggressive sustainability goals. It is the first of 11 next-generation cruise ships from Carnival Corporation between 2018 and 2025 able to generate their power at sea and in port from LNG.

The LNG ships are part of Carnival Corporation's ongoing fleet enhancement strategy with 20 new vessels scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2025 – creating excitement in the vacation market and helping the company's brands continue to exceed guest expectations while accelerating demand for cruising, the fastest growing segment in the vacation industry.

Guests can also enjoy versatile entertainment offerings, including the Beach Club and Four Elements adventure deck, complete with three water slides and a climbing garden under the dome of a retractable glass roof, in addition to a new escape room for thrill seekers, a 360-degree Theatrium and Studio X, the brand's first TV studio at sea.

Additional highlights include 20 different stateroom types, ranging from a two-deck penthouse suite to spacious family and patio cabins to comfortable single options with a balcony. The ship will also feature the Body & Soul Spa, spanning two decks and offering 80 treatments from around the world.

AIDAnova will embark on its first voyage at the end of September and will head for Eemshaven in the Netherlands. Once the ship has received its final fittings and has completed various sea trials, AIDAnova will be delivered to AIDA Cruises in an official handover ceremony from the Meyer Werft shipyard on November 15, 2018, in Bremerhaven, Germany. AIDAnova will begin its maiden voyage from Hamburg to the Canary Islands on December 2, 2018.

With its three new LNG ships on the horizon, AIDA Cruises continues to pursue its commitment to "green cruising" and sustainable operations. As of 2023, more than half of AIDA Cruises' guests will be spending their vacation on a cruise ship that runs on LNG. The use of LNG for ship power has a smaller carbon footprint and is the cleanest burning fossil fuel. In addition to pioneering the use of LNG for cruise ships, Carnival Corporation's world's leading cruise lines, including AIDA Cruises, have been industry leaders in utilizing exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) in the small confines of a cruise ship. This is another environmental breakthrough that addresses concerns with sulfur compounds and particulate matter from exhaust. Carnival Corporation has nearly 70 of its over 100 ships outfitted with the systems.

Azamara Pursuit Named In Southampton
Azamara Club Cruises celebrated the addition of Azamara Pursuit to the brand's existing fleet with a festive naming ceremony on board the ship in Southampton, U.K. Azamara Pursuit's two Godmothers – Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio and Lucy Huxley – christened the vessel alongside Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Richard Fain; President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, Larry Pimentel; and the Board of Directors.

"Since the announcement of Azamara Pursuit in September 2017, we have eagerly awaited this special moment to celebrate the ship's debut," said Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. "Azamara Pursuit's two godmothers both have a fearless dedication to adventure, and we could not be more pleased for them to lead us in this ceremony."

Following the naming ceremony, the vessel set sail for a two-night voyage to Cherbourg, France to kick off the festivities with an AzAmazing Afternoon event. Inspired by Azamara's signature AzAmazing Evenings – a complimentary excursion offered to guests to connect them with the local culture and discover the destination's heritage – the afternoon was designed to enable guests to uncover and embrace the true nature of the destination through rare moments that reflect the French town's personality and authentic charm. The celebration began with exploring a quintessential French market that was constructed steps from the gangway and consisted of stalls selling flowers, cheeses & fresh fruits, pastries, French wines, baguettes, and much more. Later in the afternoon, Main Hall at La Cité de la Mar was transformed into a cabaret house where guests enjoyed performances by a 15-piece orchestra, dancers, a solo singer, among others.

Honoring Azamara's commitment to Destination Immersion guests on board also had the opportunity to connect with the local culture from a selection of curated shore programming. Experiences ranged from viewing Bayeux Tapestry – which depicts the events leading up to Norman conquest of England – and Panoramic Cherbourg, offering views of the city's most historic landmarks, including Abbey of Our Lady of the Vow, a 12th century Catholic monastery and former marine hospital.

The voyage concluded with a White Night celebration, an evening soirée where cruisers can enjoy a feast served poolside by Azamara's officers and crew before dancing late into the night.

Azamara Pursuit will now journey from Southampton, U.K. to Barcelona, Spain on a 13-Night Wine & Romance Voyage.

A Royal Princess is Coming to Los Angeles
Princess Cruises started with a single ship sailing out of the Port of Los Angeles to Mexico in 1965. In 200 days, the cruise line welcomes Royal Princess, one of its new large ships recognized around the world for having been officially named in 2013 by Her Royal Highness, Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge. Royal Princess will arrive with great fanfare to the City of Angels and embark on her maiden voyage to the Mexican Riviera on March 23, 2019.

"The anticipation of the arrival of Royal Princess is growing as we officially announce the 200-day countdown that will welcome one of our newest, most elegant ships in our global fleet to the U.S. west coast and long-term home at the Port of Los Angeles," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "Now guests have the opportunity to experience this exquisite floating resort, our world-class service and best-in-class dining to sought-after destinations like the Mexican Riviera, California Coast, Hawaii and Alaska."

The 3,560-guest Royal Princess first debuted in Southampton in June 2013 and was officially christened by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge. Significant to this ceremony was the fact that her mother-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales, christened the original Royal Princess in 1984.

Award-winning features aboard Royal Princess include the large atrium or "Piazza," offering enticing entertainment and culinary delights; the overwater SeaWalk – a 60-foot-long glass walkway standing 128 feet above the ocean; an expansive Lotus Spa with The Enclave, home to Princess' largest-ever thermal suite and a dramatic hydro-therapy pool with a cascading rain shower and therapeutic air jets as well as an array of services and secluded couples treatment rooms; a live television studio; adults-only Retreat Pool and Sanctuary; and newly re-branded Camp Discovery youth center.

Before Royal Princess makes her West Coast debut, the ship will undergo a "wet dock" renovation and receive several new features, including new equipment in the Lotus Spa and fitness center as well as the arrival of the cruise line's recognized "Princess Luxury Bed," created in collaboration with board-certified Sleep Doctor Michael Breus and HGTV Designer Candice Olson to all cabins.

Guests sailing aboard Royal Princess can also marvel at the "Royal" display case, featuring memorabilia from the naming ceremony with The Duchess of Cambridge, including the scissors and rope she used to officially send the ceremonial bottle of Champagne smashing against the ship's hull, a replica of the Champagne bottle, several photos and even a copy of the Dalmatian-print dress she wore by British designer Hobbs.

Recently named "Top Cruise Line in the Mexican Riviera" in Cruise Critic's Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards, Royal Princess will sail on a series of cruises from Los Angeles (San Pedro) to the Mexican Riviera with port calls in Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, giving cruisers the chance to experience the local vibrant culture and flavors. Inaugural spring 2019 voyages include:

• March 23, 2019

• March 30, 2019

• April 6, 2019

• April 13, 2019

• April 20, 2019

• April 27, 2019

From Los Angeles, Royal Princess will sail up the Pacific Coast on a seven-day Coastal voyage departing May 4, 2019 to Vancouver to begin her maiden voyages to bucket-list destination Alaska.

The Alaska season begins on May 11, 2019 and Royal Princess will offer 18 "Voyage of the Glaciers," seven-day cruises, sailing between Vancouver and Anchorage (Whittier) with port stops in Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau with scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park, plus an additional glacier viewing experience at either Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord. Guests can also spend time in the interior of Alaska with a variety of cruisetour offerings, with stays at Princess Wilderness Lodges and visit Denali National Park. In 2019, Princess Cruises celebrates 50 years of cruising in Alaska and takes more guests to the Great Land than any other cruise line.

Royal Princess will depart Vancouver on September 14, 2019 on a three-day Coastal cruise, returning to Los Angeles on September 17, 2019 to offer a 12-day roundtrip cruise to Alaska, including Glacier Bay. September 29, 2019 marks the return of Royal Princess to Los Angeles for cruises to the Mexican Riviera with several five-, seven- and 10-day options; seven-day California Coastal cruises and shorter four-day West Coast Getaway voyages, visiting Catalina Island.

Royal Princess ends her 2019/2020 season with a seven-day Pacific Wine Country cruise from Los Angeles to Vancouver departing on May 9, 2020.

Norwegian Sun Completes First Season of Cruises to Cuba from Port Canaveral
Norwegian Sun will complete her first season of cruises to Cuba from Port Canaveral, Florida with her last sailing on September 3, 2018 before she moves to Miami, Florida for select sailings then repositioning to South America for her fall/winter season.

The first and only homeported ship to cruise to Cuba from Port Canaveral, Norwegian Sun, during her summer season, welcomed over 30,000 guests on 15 voyages on her four-day Cuba cruise itinerary with port of calls in Key West and an overnight in Havana. The final, and 16th sailing to Cuba from Port Canaveral, departs September 3rd for a five-day voyage to Key West, an overnight in Havana and a visit to Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas.

Following this successful first season, Norwegian Sun will return to Port Canaveral in April 2019 with even more Cuba itineraries, offering travelers the chance to experience the warm culture and people of the Caribbean island through a variety of Office of Foreign Assets Control compliant excursions available through Norwegian Cruise Line.

“Since we first sailed to Cuba in 2017 from Miami, it has become one of our most popular destinations,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Norwegian Sun last homeported in Port Canaveral in the 2011/2012 fall/winter season and we were excited to return and showcase her latest enhancements and offer a new itinerary in the region.”

“We’re very proud of the success of the Norwegian Sun sailings from Port Canaveral and thrilled that Norwegian Cruise Line has chosen to continue its very popular Cuba itineraries from here,” said Captain John Murray, chief executive officer of Port Canaveral. “This important decision by Norwegian to bring Norwegian Sun ‘back home’ to our port validates our commitment to meeting the needs and expectations of our valued cruise partners.”

Port Canaveral was Norwegian Sun’s first homeport, following a three-week, bow-to-stern renovation in April in Victoria, BC as part of The Norwegian Edge, the company’s program designed to elevate the standard of excellence across its fleet. Built in 2001, Norwegian now features refreshed staterooms and public spaces, and boasts three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, a Mexican restaurant offering a modern take on traditional favorites; Bliss Ultra Lounge, a new bar and nightclub; and Spinnaker Lounge, featuring a larger than life dance floor.

All 968 staterooms were upgraded with smart televisions and USB ports as well as new carpet, artwork and select furniture. The newly revitalized accommodations pay tribute to the beauty of the surrounding ocean with a palette of cool blue hues and silver and turquoise accents. The abstract art within the staterooms and suites are the ideal complement to the new and modern feel.

The renovations also touched dining outlets and public spaces including Cagney’s, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, the Mandara Spa, Stardust Lounge Theater, Splash Academy and more.

Carnival 'Homeport Advantage' Campaign Feature A 128-Foot-Long Carnival AirShip
Carnival Cruise Line took to the sky today with the Carnival AirShip - a massive 128-foot-long red, white, and blue blimp that takes center stage as part of the line's innovative Homeport Advantage campaign, designed to raise awareness of new cruise ship deployments in several key markets along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

The AirShip made its aerial debut today at Carnival's Sixth Annual Day of Play at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. – the first stop in a 30-day airborne journey across seven U.S. states. After departing Memphis, the AirShip will proceed to Dallas before heading down to Houston then continue the journey with visits to homeports in Galveston, New Orleans, Mobile, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral, Jacksonville and Charleston before ending in Atlanta.

As part of the campaign, consumers will have a chance to win free cruises, Carnival swag, VIP event passes and Carnival cruise gift cards when they take a picture or video of the AirShip and post it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #ChooseFun. The hashtag will also trigger a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , Carnival's longtime charitable partner.

"Carnival is America's Cruise Line and what better way to showcase our new offerings in popular homeports like Galveston, Port Canaveral and Miami than with our very own AirShip that highlights our #ChooseFun tagline while supporting the special kids at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

As part of its journey, the Carnival Airship will stop in Miami on Sept. 20 to welcome the new Carnival Horizon to its year-round homeport. Shipboard festivities will include fun events hosted by NBA Hall of Famer and Carnival Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal and featuring Miami Heat players.

The Homeport Advantage campaign is also designed to raise awareness for the incredible variety of Carnival's U.S. embarkation options, with 18 year-round and seasonal ports – the most in cruising – along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico. Roughly half of the U.S. population is within a day's drive of a Carnival homeport, providing convenience and affordability to vacationers.

Four ships will be arriving at new homeports in September, providing consumers with fresh and exciting ways to Choose Fun and create a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories. The new ships and itineraries include:

• Carnival Horizon (Miami): Carnival's newest ship that made her U.S. debut in New York in May will launch year-round home six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises from Miami beginning Sept. 22 following a special two-day cruise to Nassau Sept. 20. Carnival Horizon introduced several new innovations, including the first-ever Dr. Seuss water park, Guy Fieri's Bar-B-Que Smokehouse | Brewhouse with BBQ favorites from Food Network star and longtime Carnival partner Guy Fieri, and the line's first teppanyaki venue.

• Carnival Vista (Galveston): Launched in 2016, Carnival Vista brings Texas-sized fun to Galveston with such popular features as the groundbreaking aerial attraction SkyRide, an IMAX theatre, Family Harbor staterooms and suites, and a Cuban-themed Havana section with its own pool and bar. Carnival Vista kicks off her new year-round sailing seven-day Caribbean schedule from Galveston Sept. 23.

• Carnival Breeze (Port Canaveral): Bringing a whole new level of excitement to the Space Coast, Carnival Breeze will offer a diverse Caribbean schedule from Port Canaveral with seven-day and 14-day itineraries starting Sept. 30. Popular features on Carnival Breeze include a massive WaterWorks aqua park, the interactive Thrill Theater, and delicious dining options ranging from casual options like Guy's Burger Joint to the exquisite Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse.

• Carnival Magic (Miami): Also new to Miami is Carnival Magic, which kicks off a new schedule of week-long Caribbean cruises Sept. 30. Guests sailing on this "Fun Ship" favorite can enjoy such features as a Serenity adults-only retreat, a luxurious Cloud 9 Spa, the Caribbean-inspired Red Frog Pub and the Cucina del Capitano family-style Italian restaurant.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 61.49 - 0.34%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 122.58 + 2.17%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.33 + 1.53%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.61 + 0.34%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cruise ship was severely damaged and almost sank after striking ice in June of 1989?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - The ship would be the SANTA PAULA which was built in 1958 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. for the Grace Line of NY. She ended her days as a hotel in Kuwait City eventually being destroyed there by the retreating Iraqis after during the Gulf War.

Her sister was the SANTA ROSA which went on to become the EMERALD owned by Louis Cruises but operated by Thompson Holidays (note: she has been so drastically rebuilt as to be unrecognizable as her former self.)
courtesy of M. Dunatov


Cruise News - August 27, 2018

Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam Successfully Completes Sea Trials
Holland America Line's Nieuw Statendam, the second Pinnacle Class ship in the fleet, returned to Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy Wednesday, Aug. 22, after successfully completing two sets of sea trials off the coast.

Nieuw Statendam left Marghera Aug. 10 and performed the first set of sea trials over two days before going into dry dock at Fincantieri's Trieste shipyard, where the trial's data was reviewed and standard hull maintenance was performed. The ship sailed its second sea trials Aug. 18, making its way back to Marghera Aug. 22 where the finishing touches will be completed.

"The sea trials are a highly anticipated milestone for any newbuild because it takes us one step closer to delivery, and we're thrilled that Nieuw Statendam gave a strong performance out in open water," said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line's president. "There's a lot of buzz surrounding Nieuw Statendam and the innovations we're introducing on board. The ship is going to have an exciting debut in early December."

During the sea trials, Nieuw Statendam underwent a series of performance tests on the ship's systems, machinery and engines. The shipyard's team of nautical officers, naval architects and builders tested the ship's maneuvering characteristics and safety systems.

Due for delivery Dec. 1, 2018, Nieuw Statendam will explore the Caribbean in winter and then move to northern Europe, Iceland and the Mediterranean in summer during its inaugural year. The 2,666-guest, 99,500-ton ship will reflect the ongoing evolution of Holland America Line. From familiar elements that reflect a rich heritage and classic style to state-of-the-art enhancements that chart a bold new course forward, guests on board Nieuw Statendam will delight in details that are artfully inspired and perfectly presented to create the ultimate Pinnacle-class experience.

While much of the ship's design will be similar to Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship, Nieuw Statendam will have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjørn Storbraaten. The ship will feature all of the hallmarks of Pinnacle-Class design: grand, light-filled spaces; visual drama; and sumptuous interiors inspired by the fluid curves of musical instruments.

Holland America Line's first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be the sixth ship in the company's history to carry the name. In combining the Dutch word for "new" with the classic "Statendam," Holland America Line celebrates the company's past, present and future.

Girl Power! First Female Cruise Director/Entertainment Director Duo Named for New Carnival Panorama
Carnival Cruise Line has announced that for the first time ever, a female cruise director and entertainment director tandem will bring out a new ship – Carnival Panorama, set to debut in December 2019. British-born Emma Nixon will serve as cruise director and Canadian native Brittany Boyd entertainment director when the 133,500-ton cruise ship sets sail next year from Long Beach, Calif., becoming Carnival’s first new ship homeported on the West Coast in more than 20 years.

The dynamic duo will lead all of the ship’s fantastic entertainment offerings, everything from legendary deck parties to audience favorites Hasbro, The Game Show; Lip Sync Battle; and, of course, the hilarious performances at the Punchliner Comedy Club and new Playlist Productions shows created especially for Carnival Panorama.

A six-year Carnival veteran, Nixon joined as a member of the Fun Squad and quickly moved up the ranks within the entertainment department serving as comedy club manager and assistant cruise director before being named cruise director of Carnival Spirit in 2015. Known for her positive nature and infectious laugh, Emma’s role as cruise director is to create the fun, spirited environment on board and make sure that guests go home with a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories.

Boyd joined Carnival in 2011 as a Fun Squad Host and was named entertainment director in 2014. As Carnival Panorama’s entertainment director, Boyd will oversee all of the ship’s entertainment and will put her incredible organizational skills and keen attention to detail, planning, organizing and scheduling the literally hundreds of activity and entertainment choices that will be featured during its week-long cruises.

“Emma and Brittany are both high-energy and engaging women who will do an absolutely fantastic job overseeing all of the exciting entertainment choices that will be featured aboard the spectacular Carnival Panorama,” said Sarah Reno, vice president of entertainment for Carnival Cruise Line. “Fun and laughter are part of our DNA and these two incredible women are the ideal candidates to lead our amazing entertainment team on board.”

Nixon and Boyd will join the nearly 1,400 team members who will travel to Italy to prepare the ship for its Dec. 11, 2019, maiden voyage from the renovated Long Beach Cruise Terminal, home to three year-round Carnival Cruise Line ships and hosting upwards of 600,000 guests a year.

The third in the line’s highly successful Vista-class, Carnival Panorama, like its name implies, will offer popular venues offering both indoor and al fresco experiences, including the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and Bonsai Teppanyaki and Guy Fieri’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse|Brewhouse, among others, along with fun, open-air attractions like the groundbreaking SkyRide, a massive WaterWorks aqua park, and the SportSquare recreation area featuring a suspended ropes course.

Guests can also choose from an array of stateroom offerings, including vibrant Havana tropics-inspired staterooms with access to a Cuban-themed bar and pool, the Family Harbor featuring extra-roomy accommodations, the Family Harbor Lounge and the luxurious Cloud 9 Spa. Several innovations unique to this vessel are expected to be announced in the coming months.

Following its inaugural three-day voyage departing Dec. 11, 2019, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day cruises Dec. 14, 2019 departing every Saturday to stunning seaside destinations along the Mexican Riviera, including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Holland America Line Promotes Kim Leaming
Holland America Line has promoted Kim Leaming to director, direct marketing and integrated planning. In her expanded role, Leaming will oversee the development of an ongoing integrated marketing plan aligning multiple channels. She also will maintain responsibility for Holland America Line’s direct marketing program, Mariner Society communications and global promotions.

Leaming is based in the cruise line’s Seattle headquarters and continues to report to Joseph Slattery, senior vice president, global marketing and sales for Holland America Line.

“Since joining Holland America Line, Kim has consistently demonstrated her capability and leadership skills that continue to enhance the strategic direction of our brand,” said Slattery. “Kim has embraced every stepping-stone in her career with aptitude and expertise, and we congratulate her on this well-deserved promotion.”

Leaming holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Washington, and she joined Holland America Line in 2011 as manager, direct marketing. Prior to this she was director of marketing at Cruise West as well as at Majestic America Line. She also has worked in the digital space at Rivals.com and with sports cable television at FOX Sports Net.

Royal Caribbean Asking Youth To Submit Designs For Cruise Ship Of The Future
To celebrate its strong culture of innovation and imagination, Royal Caribbean International is calling out to budding designers to submit their vision of a cruise ship of the future in its first ever nationwide design competition, and stand a chance to win cruise holidays and cash prizes up to SGD $5,000.

Open to tertiary students nationwide till 28 September, Royal Caribbean’s ‘Brainwaves: Reimagining the Future of Cruising’ invites contestants to conceptualise and develop never before seen, innovative ideas for a cruise ship that would appeal to the next generation. Submissions need to showcase futuristic features covering the three key aspects of a cruise holiday – entertainment, activities and accommodation.

Royal Caribbean, a leading brand in pushing boundaries with the most innovative fleet at sea, hopes to inspire students to give new thinking to a travel category that has been rapidly evolving over the last decade, while supporting Singapore’s ongoing drive to instil creativity in its young.

Royal Caribbean’s Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Angie Stephen said, “Cruising has transformed well beyond the basic pools, buffet restaurants and theatres. Skydiving at sea, robotic bartenders, virtual balconies and smart features are just a few of the latest innovations you can expect today from a Royal Caribbean cruise, and we believe nothing is impossible when it comes to the holiday of the future.”

“Which is why with Brainwaves, we are excited to see what the youths of today can come up with in terms of innovative and creative features, and showcase where their imagination can take them when it comes to the cruise holiday of tomorrow. Our ship is their canvas.”

The inaugural competition has also appointed local architect and TV host, Khairudin Saharom, as Brainwaves’ ambassador and face of the competition. Mr Khairudin will also be part of the final judging panel to determine the winning design.

Mr Khairudin said, “As an architect, I recognise the profound effect good design can have on a space and how people experience it. Whether it is on land or sea, it is important to strike a balance between form and function. I am confident that our young designers will be able to pull together some truly compelling ideas.”

From all the submissions, five finalists will be selected to go forward in pitching their ideas before a judging panel consisting of Royal Caribbean’s senior management and Mr Khairudin on 15 October. The Grand Prize will feature an Asian cruise for two on Royal Caribbean’s upcoming new ship Spectrum of the Seas and a SGD$ 5,000 cash prize.

To find out more, visit www.brainwavessg.com for competition details, and follow Royal Caribbean on Facebook for regular updates.

Disney Parks Moms Panel Kicks Off 2019 Search Sept. 5, 2018
Calling all vacationers who know a thing or two about the power of magic: The Disney Parks Moms Panel is looking for you! Entering its 12th year, the search for the Disney Parks Moms Panel (www.DisneyParksMomsPanel.com) will be open Sept. 5-12, 2018, inviting park-savvy Disney buffs to apply for a coveted spot to serve on the popular online forum. Disney welcomes dads, moms, in-the-know family members and anyone who feels they’ve spent as much time at a Disney park as Mickey Mouse himself to apply at www.momspanelsearch.com for a chance to be a part of the magic.

The Disney Parks Moms Panel is an online resource comprised of everyday parents, grandparents and even adults without kids who share first-hand advice with those planning a Disney vacation, while offering personal guidance on any and all topics surrounding Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club and beyond. The panel offers recommendations on vacation “musts” and information on a variety of Disney experiences and activities, such as identifying the most incredible experiences for toddlers at Disneyland Resort’s new Pixar Pier, recommendations on what to order at Woody’s Lunch Box in the newly opened Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World Resort, or how to uncover the best snorkeling spots on Disney Cruise Line’s private island, Castaway Cay. New this year, the Disney Parks Moms Panel will be more accessible than ever with answers optimized for search engines and home assistant devices – a first for Disney Parks and Resorts – allowing the panelists to reach even more Disney guests around the world.

“My passion for creating epic Disney getaways led me to the Disney Parks Moms Panel,” said Jerry M., one of the Disney dads on the panel. “The magic of the Disney Parks Moms Panel is our collective experience and our diverse backgrounds coming together that make this panel so informative. Our mission is to be everyone’s trusted guides when it comes to planning a Disney vacation, offering heartfelt advice from our own experiences. Together, as a panel, we’ve just about done it all!”

“It is truly rewarding to see Disney guests come together and share their personal stories and experiences in an effort to help others plan a memorable Disney vacation,” said Leanne O’Regan, Director of Public Relations for Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “For 12 years, the Disney Parks Moms Panel has helped millions of people around the world plan outstanding Disney vacations with over 250,000 questions and answers available at any given time, all thanks to the impressive group of panelists who are chosen each year. We encourage those who have a passion for sharing their knowledge on all things Disney Parks to be our guest and apply to the 2019 Disney Parks Moms Panel!”

Applications for the 2019 Disney Parks Moms Panel will be accepted from noon EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, through noon EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. To apply, visit www.momspanelsearch.com. The application process includes a series of short-answer questions, a brief video submission and a phone interview over three rounds. The 2019 Disney Parks Moms Panelists will be announced in January. Applicants selected must be available to attend a training session at Walt Disney World Resort from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 2018. Panelists are selected based on their wealth of Disney knowledge, as well as their ability to communicate authentic answers to those seeking assistance for their upcoming trips.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 61.70 + 1.56%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 119.98 + 2.71%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.31 + 0.00%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.43 + 0.66%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship started her career running cruise/ferry service between New York and the Bahamas?

Answer - The ship would be the SANTA PAULA which was built in 1958 by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. for the Grace Line of NY. She ended her days as a hotel in Kuwait City eventually being destroyed there by the retreating Iraqis after during the Gulf War.

Her sister was the SANTA ROSA which went on to become the EMERALD owned by Louis Cruises but operated by Thompson Holidays (note: she has been so drastically rebuilt as to be unrecognizable as her former self.)
courtesy of M. Dunatov


Cruise News - August 20, 2018

Crystal Endeavor’s Keel Laying Marks Next Construction Milestone
Today, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises celebrated the next important milestone in the construction of Crystal Endeavor as the keel was laid at MV WERFTEN’s Stralsund shipyard for the company’s first luxury expedition yacht.

During the special ceremony, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her role as a member of the German Bundestag, joined Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber and Genting Hong Kong's Executive Chairman and CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, as well as Mecklenburg Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig for the festivities. Also in attendance were Minister of Economic Affairs Harry Glawe and CEO and President of MV WERFTEN Peter Fetten as well as hundreds of MV WERFTEN team members clad in “Team Endeavor” shirts, showing their enthusiasm and anticipation of the grand vessel they will help build. Once the traditional lucky coins had been put into place, the 400-ton section was lowered onto the keel blocks.

“It is truly a thrill to mark this important milestone for Crystal Endeavor and the entire Crystal Family, as this yacht will change the way guests can explore the world both adventurously and luxuriously,” Wolber said. “I am honored to share this occasion with Chancellor Merkel, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and our special guests as well as the skilled workers of MV WERFTEN who are building this game-changing ship.”

“The keel laying of Crystal Endeavor here in my political hometown of Stralsund marks a special moment for me that is doubly significant,” said Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Today, the foundation has been laid for this highly sophisticated, state-of-the-art cruise ship. But the ceremony itself, which is taking place in the lively shipyard with the participation of so many employees and trainees, also bodes well for the future of shipbuilding in the Hanseatic City of Stralsund and in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.”

Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said, “We are delighted with the success and progress of the Crystal fleet and continue to share the company’s vision for expanding the choices for travelers around the world. Crystal Endeavor is a ship like no other, and will take travelers on journeys unlike any they’ve ever experienced.”

“MV WERFTEN breaks new ground with Crystal Endeavor. We wish the company great success in building this ship and other ships of its class, the construction of which safeguards and creates jobs in the shipyards of Wismar, Stralsund, and Warnemünde,” said Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig during her address.

The 20,000 GRT yacht will be the world's largest and most spacious purpose-built Polar Class ship. Crystal Endeavor will feature 100 suites and all the luxurious amenities and special touches for which Crystal is known. The yacht will boast generous public spaces, a full-service spa & salon, six restaurants including Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma, expedition rooms and elegant suites that contrast beautifully with the rugged adventures beyond the vessel. Crystal Endeavor’s accommodations will offer private butler service for every suite and feature luxurious touches including king-sized beds, walk-in closets; heated storage for drying parkas; spa-like bathrooms with adjustable heated floors, dual vanities, anti-fog mirrors and rain-showerheads.

Crystal Endeavor’s PC6 designation will enable her to operate in summer and autumn through medium first-year ice. The ship will feature the latest technology, including offshore dynamic positioning capabilities, offering both comfort and safety while exploring the icy waters in the Polar Regions and exotic locations across the globe.

Crystal unveiled the itineraries for Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural season on July 31, spanning from August of 2020 through January 2021, offering voyages of 12 to 22 days far off the beaten path of traditional cruise routes. Voyages rich with discovery will explore the cultural and bio-diversity of Japan and the Russian Far East; Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines; New Zealand and Tasmania; Australia and the Great Barrier Reef; and Antarctica. The ship will sail a series of charters and special event voyages before it begins its inaugural season in August 2020.

P&O Australia Sells Pacific Jewel; Golden Princess Joining Fleet
P&O Cruises Australia announced today a second Grand Class ship will join the family while bidding farewell to one of its “jewels” as part of the cruise line’s commitment to refresh the fleet over time.

Carrying more than 3,100 guests, Star Princess will join her sister ship, Golden Princess, in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet from the end of 2021. Star Princess will replace the much-loved and considerably smaller Pacific Jewel, which will leave P&O Cruises in March next year, by which time she will have served the brand for almost 10 years.

President of P&O Cruises and Carnival Australia, Sture Myrmell, said welcoming two Grand Class ships – Star Princess and Golden Princess – was part of the evolution of the P&O Cruises fleet.

In September last year, P&O Cruises announced its plan to refresh its fleet over time, continuing to evolve the guest experience and creating economies of scale necessary to compete effectively in today’s environment.

“Pacific Jewel has been a jewel by name and by nature. I feel sentimental farewelling a much-loved ship but excited for the future because the addition of two bigger ships is a game-changer for P&O Cruises and its guests,” Mr Myrmell said.

“P&O Cruises is all about offering a great value cruise holiday that celebrates modern Australia across food, entertainment, activities and service delivered in a contemporary setting. We are ensuring P&O Cruises has the right ships for a contemporary brand operating in a competitive market.”

Mr Myrmell said P&O Cruises would continue to base ships year-round in its key homeports of Sydney and Brisbane as well as offering seasonal sailings from other Australian states and New Zealand.

A transformed Golden Princess will join the P&O Cruises fleet in October 2020 while her sister ship, Star Princess, will join P&O Cruises at the end of 2021. Pacific Jewel’s final voyage will depart from Melbourne on 24 February, 2019 before being transferred to a new operator following her sale.

P&O Cruises will assist guests affected by deployment changes to make alternative arrangements, including their choice of:

• Rebooking on equivalent or near equivalent cruises on other P&O Cruises’ ships

• Offering a choice of alternative cruises on other ships in the P&O Cruises’ fleet where a near equivalent match is not possible

• Providing a full refund to guests for whom no alternative cruise choice is suitable (any guest whose cruise is cancelled can choose to obtain a full refund).

• P&O Cruises will contact all guests over the coming weeks to provide further information on alternative options. “We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause some guests and will work hard to find alternatives for those whose holiday plans are affected. We also thank guests for their patience because it is likely to take some weeks to put everything in place but we hope this good news will be well received by our loyal guests,” Mr Myrmell said.

Dedicated telephone and email channels have been established for guests who have questions related to an affected cruise:

Australia Phone line: 1300 550 491
New Zealand Phone line: 0800 543 177
Email Address: cruiseupdates@pocruises.com.au

Princess Cruises Reveals Name of Fifth Royal-Class Ship
As Princess Cruises' fleet expansion continues, the cruise line reveals the name of the ship it will launch in 2020 – Enchanted Princess.

Enchanted Princess is scheduled to debut on June 15, 2020 sailing on a series of European voyages. Bookings for her maiden season, summer 2020, will open on November 8, 2018.

"The name Enchanted Princess is captivating and conveys the elegance and grace of our new ship which will introduce more travellers to the pleasures and value of cruising," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "We are certain Enchanted Princess will exceed the expectations of our guests, ensuring they have the most memorable cruise vacation."

Ms. Swartz said Princess has the strongest pipeline of premium new ship builds in the world. The arrival of Enchanted Princess will be followed by the debut of the sixth Royal-Class vessel for Princess Cruises in 2022. The cruise line also has two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered ships on order, bringing its new ship order to five ships in six years.

Construction of the 143,700-ton, 3,660-passenger Enchanted Princess will take place in the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard with the ship set to feature an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line's previous Royal-Class ships.

Norwegian Cruise Line Continues to Raise the Bar For Its Beverage Program at Sea
Norwegian Cruise Line was once again celebrated for its distinguished onboard beverage program with Norwegian Bliss’ head mixologist named as one of the 2018 Diageo Global Travel’s Best Bartenders, and Norwegian Escape’s upscale steakhouse Cagney’s recognized with the “Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator.

The accolades were announced in advance of the cruise line’s third season of Meet the Winemaker cruises available on select ships and itineraries now through February 16, 2019.

Head mixologist, Razvan Dorel Cordea, of the recently debuted Norwegian Bliss, was one of three cruise industry professionals recognized as a “2018 Diageo Global Travel’s Best Bartender” and as a semi-finalist for “2018 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year.” After successfully completing two challenges during the semifinals in Miami, Cordea will represent Norwegian Cruise Line at the global finals in Berlin on October 5-8, 2018. There, he will compete against 50 of the world’s best bartenders. This is the third time Norwegian Cruise Line has been represented at this prestigious beverage competition.

The carefully crafted wine selection at Cagney’s on Norwegian Escape was also recognized by Wine Spectator with the “Award of Excellence.” A celebrated favorite among guests, Cagney’s is Norwegian Cruise Line’s classic American-style steakhouse featuring mouthwatering, premium meats and delectable sides including parmesan truffle fries and caramelized Brussel sprouts. To complement the decadent dishes, the wine selection has been fashioned to include over 100 selections from 30 regions around the globe.

“Gastronomy has become such an important element of traveling today that we are more committed than ever to exceptional culinary experiences across our 16-ship fleet,” said Wes Cort, vice president of food and beverage at Norwegian Cruise Line. “I’m proud of our creative and innovative teams both on land and sea who are dedicated to curating programs and partnerships that our guests will remember and look forward to time and again.”

The accolades were announced as in advance of Norwegian Cruise Line’s third season of Meet the Winemaker cruises, which invite guests sailing on select itineraries on Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Dawn, to participate in a robust program of private wine dinners and tastings, seminars and meet-and-greets with experts in the winemaking industry, including Salvatore Ferragamo, Rob Mondavi Jr., and Gerard Bertrand.

“Last season was such a success that we are thrilled to bring back this series of incredible wine cruises,” said Mark Kansley, senior vice president of hotel operations at Norwegian Cruise Line. “It has been a great honor to collaborate with these remarkable industry visionaries and provide an innovative culinary program and a one-of-a-kind cruise experience to our guests.”

Guests have several opportunities to engage with winemakers and other experts through a variety of enriching seminars and activities including open-forum question and answer sessions and meet-and-greets. For a more intimate experience, guided wine tastings, wine-paired dinners and educational seminars are available in The Cellars, A Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar and are hosted by the guest winemaker or expert on board. Guests learn about the featured wines through an interactive session where they’ll share tasting notes and learn how best to complement them. The experience features vintages chosen by the expert and brought on board for these exclusive events. The wine tastings are available at $19.95 per person plus tax and gratuity, and the exclusive five-course, wine-paired dinner available for $60 per person plus tax and gratuity. Seating is limited for both the tasting and wine pairing dinners so reservations are highly encouraged and available once on board the ship.

The 2018/19 Meet the Winemaker series will be featured on the following sailings:

• September 23, 2018 on Norwegian Escape -- Aarón Sánchez, celebrity chef and James Beard award winner, is the official ambassador and spokesperson for Moët-Hennessy’s Argentinian wine, Terrazas De Los Andes

• October 12, 2018 on Norwegian Dawn -- Dina Mondavi, daughter of Isabel and Michael Mondavi, represents four generations of winemaking with Michael Mondavi Family Estate

• October 27, 2018 on Norwegian Bliss -- Salvatore Ferragamo, heir of famed Italian fashion house and owner of Il Borro Winery in Tuscany, Italy

• December 8, 2018 on Norwegian Bliss -- Bob Bertheau, head winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle, has maintained the vineyard’s legacy of crafting awarding-winning Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, while putting his own signature on the wines

• January 12, 2019 on Norwegian Bliss -- Juan Munoz Oca, head winemaker at Columbia Crest produces the winery’s portfolio of Reserve, H3, and Grand Estates wines

• February 16, 2019 on Norwegian Bliss -- Gerard Bertrand is the renowned vintner of Languedoc-Roussillo

Meet the Winemaker cruises onNorwegian Bliss take place on the seven-day itineraries to Alaska from Seattle during the summer months, the Mexican Riviera in the fall from Los Angeles and the Eastern Caribbean from Miami in the winter. On Norwegian Escape, the cruises are available on itineraries from New York,and on Norwegian Dawn, they are available on seven-day itineraries from Boston to Canada and New England offering guests a beautiful way to witness the fall foliage.

Carnival Cruise Line and Canaveral Port Authority Reach Agreement on New Cruise Terminal
Carnival Cruise Line, the world’s largest cruise operator, has reached an agreement in principle with the Canaveral Port Authority on a new state-of-the-art terminal able to accommodate its new 180,000-ton ship, the largest ever constructed for the line, set to debut in 2020.

The terms of the agreement are expected to be included on the agenda of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. If approved, the agreement will clear the way for Carnival Cruise Line’s plans to homeport the as-yet-unnamed 5,286-lower berth ship at Port Canaveral, further bolstering the line’s position as the port’s number one cruise operator.

The vessel will offer an array of groundbreaking, never-before-seen features and attractions while also being the first North American-based cruise ship to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), part of Carnival Corporation’s “green cruising” design platform.

“We are very excited about the prospects of homeporting our largest ship at Port Canaveral, a valued business partner for more than 25 years,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Easily accessible from all over the southeast with excellent facilities and friendly staff, Port Canaveral is one of our most popular and fastest-growing homeports. This fantastic new ship, coupled with our future plans for Port Canaveral, will provide guests with an unparalleled seagoing vacation experience from the minute they arrive. ”

“The Port and Carnival Cruise Line have worked closely for decades building a successful partnership together. We are proud of our partners at Carnival and eager to begin this new chapter in our business relationship,” said Canaveral Port Authority Port Director and CEO Capt. John Murray. “Carnival’s commitment to Port Canaveral demonstrates their confidence in our ability to support one of the world’s most successful cruise brands. We’re excited and looking forward to having their largest and newest class of ship homeported here.”

Construction of the 180,000-ton cruise ship is scheduled to begin in November 2018 with the official steel-cutting ceremony at the Meyer-Werft shipyard in Turku, Finland. Further ship details, along with itineraries from Port Canaveral, are expected to be announced in 2019.

The decision to base the new ship on the Space Coast continues a decades-long relationship and reinforces Carnival Cruise Line’s position as Port Canaveral’s number one cruise operator. The line currently has three year-round ships based in Port Canaveral carrying upwards of 650,000 passengers a year. In October, Carnival Cruise Line will also reposition the newer Carnival Breeze to homeport at Port Canaveral.

Norwegian Escape Lights Up the Stage with Broadway Star Power
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced that three award-winning Broadway songstresses, Melinda Doolittle, Sharon Wilkins and Melba Moore, will be performing in the Tony Award-winning musical, After Midnight, as well as their own Supper Club Cabaret Show, aboard Norwegian Escape beginning August 19, 2018.

The announcement, which illustrates the company’s dedication to high-caliber entertainment, comes on the heels of its successfullaunch of Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys and its original production ¡HAVANA! as well as the debut of Syd Norman’s Pour House, an authentic and immersive experience inspired by the greatest clubs in American rock ‘n’ roll history. The increase in star power is in response to the incredible reception of Broadway’s own, Tony Award-nominated, Brenda Braxton, who has routinely starred in After Midnight aboard Norwegian Escape since its introduction into the fleet in 2015.

“We are thrilled to engage these celebrated Broadway stars and very happy to welcome Melinda, Sharon and Melba to the Norwegian Cruise Line family,” said Richard Ambrose, the company’s vice president of entertainment. “We have long invested in elevating entertainment on board our ships and working with these powerhouse singers is yet another example of our commitment to exceeding guest expectations with world-class entertainment.”

Beginning August 19, American Idol alumnus and soul songstress, Melinda Doolittle, will make her at-sea debut as the lead in the critically-acclaimed Broadway show After Midnight, which celebrates Duke Ellington’s time at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club during the Jazz Age. Doolittle will perform for six weeks aboard Norwegian Escape with Broadway veteran and television actress, Sharon Wilkins, taking over the role on September 30. A 21-year Broadway veteran, Wilkins is an accomplished on-screen actress having performed in films and television series including Maid in Manhattan, National Treasure, Law and Order: SVU and Rescue Me. Wilkins will perform until December 9, 2018 and will reprise her role in February 2019.

From December 9, 2018 to February 1, 2019, three-time Grammy Award-nominated and Tony Award-winning R&B singer, Melba Moore, will take over for Wilkins as the lead in After Midnight. Recognized as a notable figure within the R&B music genre throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s, Moore has long been a prominent Broadway vocalist with performances in the Grammy and Tony Award-winning musicals Hair, Les Misérables and Purlie, where she won the Tony Award for best performance by a featured actress in a musical in 1970.

In addition to performing in After Midnight in the Escape Theater, the three stars will host their own Cabaret Show in The Supper Club, offering guests a more intimate performance including solo singing acts with a three-piece band.

The ship’s entertainment schedule features a rotation of these stars well into the 2019 cruise season.

“It is incredibly exciting to be working with Norwegian Cruise Line, a company that is truly redefining entertainment at sea,” said Melba Moore. “I’ve performed in many different arenas throughout my career and am very impressed with the dedication and passion of the team at Norwegian. They really do push the limits to deliver an unforgettable experience for guests. I am anxiously looking forward to joining my fellow cast mates aboard the stunning Norwegian Escape later this year.”

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 60.75 + 2.98%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 116.82 + 2.82%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.31 - 1.50%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 53.08 + 3.75%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Which former cargo liner built in 1958 ended her career as a land-locked hotel in Kuwait City, Kuwait?

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Today it's common place, but which was the first cruise ship to be enlarged by having an 85 foot mid-section inserted? As a result of this surgery, her capacity increased from 876 to over 1,200.

Answer - The first cruise ship to be enlarged was the Song of Norway.
courtesy of Manuela Flynn


Cruise News - August 13, 2018

Norwegian Transforms Three Ships with Bow-To-Stern Enhancements
Norwegian Cruise Line today announced the completed refurbishments of three ships, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Sun and Norwegian Star, further showcasing its commitment to extraordinary quality and the guest experience.

As part of The Norwegian Edge, the company’s program designed to elevate the standard of excellence across its fleet, the revitalized ships now feature new designs and venues including Los Lobos Cantina, an upscale Mexican restaurant; the adults-only enclave, Spice H2O; and Syd Norman’s Pour House – an American rock ‘n’ roll bar and lounge, which makes its debut aboard Norwegian Breakaway.

“What a year this has been for us at Norwegian Cruise Line,” said Andy Stuart, the brand’s president and chief executive officer. “Not only did we introduce our latest and record-breaking ship, Norwegian Bliss, and announce the redeployment of her sister ship Norwegian Joy, but we are now unveiling our newly revitalized ships, Norwegian Breakaway, Sun and Star. This is a testament to how invested we are in our guests’ experience. Although we are one of the youngest fleets in the industry, we are very committed to The Norwegian Edge program which allows us to remain consistent, relevant and exciting.”

Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway, which was built in 2013, debuts the new American rock ‘n’ roll bar and lounge Syd Norman’s Pour House as well as upgraded accommodations, public spaces and more, following a two-week dry dock in Brest, France.

A testament to Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to providing the best entertainment at sea, Syd Norman’s Pour House is an authentic and immersive experience inspired by the greatest clubs in American rock ‘n’ roll history. Replacing Fat Cats Jazz & Blues Club, Syd Norman’s is a tribute to the grandfather of “Rock of Ages” playwright Chris D’Arenso and modeled after influential rock houses such as CBGB’s, The Rainbow and the Fillmore. Vintage décor, diner-style seating and an unforgettable playlist of classic rock from the late 1960’s to 1980’s come together to bring this high-caliber entertainment offering to life. Three times a week, cast members from “Rock of Ages” will treat guests to specialty cocktails named after rock ‘n’ roll classics such as “The Witchy Woman” among others in the interactive Syd Norman’s Experience. Guests will also rock-out to a five-person band playing classics six nights a week.

Additional upgrades include enhancements to Bliss Ultra Lounge with new, premium furniture; new carpet in all 2,014 staterooms and suites; a full transformation of the gift shop; and new carpet installations in the staircases, elevators and lobbies.

Norwegian Sun

Built in 2001, Norwegian Sun underwent a three-week bow-to-stern renovation in Victoria, BC. As a result, she now features refreshed staterooms and public spaces, and boasts three new venues including Los Lobos Cantina, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spinnaker Lounge.

Los Lobos Cantina is a Mexican restaurant offering a modern take on traditional favorites like guacamole prepared tableside, al pastor tacos, enchiladas de mole and handcrafted margaritas. Replacing Las Ramblas Bar and Restaurant, Los Lobos Cantina features leather banquettes, dark wood tables and seating and ranchero-style design accents.

Bliss Ultra Lounge, formerly Dazzles, is the new bar and nightclub where guests can begin or end their evenings. Enhancements include an updated look with new plush seating, cocktail tables, bar stools, chandeliers, wall sconces, wall coverings, ornamental ceilings and a wooden dance floor.

The Spinnaker Lounge replaces the Observation Lounge and showcases a fresh design with a natural color palette reminiscent of blue, beige and tan. New to the venue are leather chairs, carpet, chandeliers, wall coverings and a stone top bar.

All 968 staterooms were upgraded with smart televisions and USB ports as well as new carpet, artwork and select furniture. The newly revitalized accommodations pay tribute to the beauty of the surrounding ocean with a palette of cool blue hues and silver and turquoise accents. The adorning abstract art within the staterooms and suites are the ideal complement to the new and modern feel.

The renovations also touched dining outlets and public spaces including Cagney’s, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, the Mandara Spa, Stardust Lounge Theater, Splash Academy and more.

Norwegian Star

Following a nearly three-week dry dock in Barcelona, Spain, Norwegian Star underwent extensive enhancements to its staterooms, public spaces, restaurants, bars and lounges. The ship, built in 2001, also unveiled three new venues: Sky High Bar, Bliss Ultra Lounge and Spice H2O.

Sky High Bar showcases a new design complete with an updated bar and seating for close to 120 guests. Replacing Bier Garten, the outdoor bar and lounge offers the best views on board.

Bliss Ultra Lounge replaces Spinnaker Lounge for late-night entertainment and now boasts a light, neutral color palette and a complete redesign with new carpet, custom loungers, seating, an upgraded bar and artwork.

For the first time, Norwegian Star will offer the adults-only enclave, Spice H2O. This well-appointed venue features a private pool, hot tubs, full bar and uninterrupted ocean views. During the day, it makes an ideal spot for sunbathing, and at night, it transforms into an open-air lounge with live entertainment, DJs and energizing themed nights.

All 1,174 staterooms and suites were outfitted with USB ports, enhanced with over 1,500 works of art and upgraded with new carpet, headboards and select furniture. The three-bedroom garden villas which feature private deck areas and can accommodate up to seven people were also remodeled to offer a light and airy design.

Additional enhancements were made to the bars and lounges, restaurants and public spaces including Atrium Café & Bar, Garden Café and the main dining rooms. A VIP section was also added in the casino.

Oceania Cruises Announces OceaniaNEXT
Today, Oceania Cruises announced its OceaniaNEXT initiative, a sweeping array of dramatic enhancements designed to elevate every facet of the guest experience. The first initiative to be undertaken is the $100 million re-inspiration of the line's four 684-guest ships (Regatta, Insignia, Sirena, and Nautica) that will result in four better-than-new ships. Each will emerge from the re-inspiration process with 342 brand new designer suites and staterooms, and stunning new décor in the restaurants, lounges and bars, inspired by the line's 450 ports of call.

Insignia will be the first to debut on December 7, 2018, followed by Sirena in May 2019, Regatta in September 2019, and Nautica in June 2020.

"OceaniaNEXT will be the most extensive and comprehensive suite of product and guest service enhancements that we have ever undertaken," said Bob Binder, President and CEO of Oceania Cruises. "Our Regatta-Class ships are like second homes to our loyal guests and travel partners. They don't build ships like these anymore, which is why this re-inspiration project is such an important milestone in our company's 15-year history. We are maintaining the intimate surroundings and personal attention that our guests love, while at the same time setting a new standard of style and elegance for small ship cruising. We have opened a new chapter, innovating in every way as we look to the future and the way our guests want to travel. We can't wait for our 'new' ships to launch."

At the helm of the dramatic refurbishment is Studio DADO, a Miami-based design and concept studio specializing in luxury residential and hospitality design.

"The moment we stepped onboard, we were impressed by the ambiance and attention to detail," said Yohandel Ruiz, founding partner of Studio DADO. "The guests we spoke with kept telling us how dearly they loved the ships, so it was important that we kept the intimacy and warmth in the redesign. What we landed on provides a modern and airy atmosphere, similar to what you would find in an elegant estate home."

Surprisingly New, Delightfully Familiar

With the line's acclaimed Marina and Riviera as their muses, Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, and Sirena will feature richly appointed and stylish new interiors that showcase the best of residential design. Furnishings from Baker and Donghia, along with fabrics from Rubelli and Kravet will adorn the public spaces, with new richly-hued custom-milled carpets lining the floors.

Effortless style in an elegant atmosphere will be the defining characteristics of the Reception Hall and Upper Hall. A sparkling new Grand Staircase framed by intricate railings and balustrades inset with crystal accents will welcome guests onboard. Overhead, a crowning grand chandelier adorned with hanging pieces of smoked and hand-painted glass will set the space aglow.

The Grand Dining Room will feature buttery soft cream leather dining chairs accented with metallic bronze threading to catch the light from the stunning new crystal chandelier, which will be the room's defining centerpiece.

Martinis becomes anew with a palette inspired by the stunning coastline of Santorini featuring hues of deep Grecian blue, sienna and chocolate browns, and stately pewter. Silver-white marble and tobacco quartz will accent the bar while the trademark walnut paneling adds luster and whispers of familiarity.

All-New Suites and Staterooms

Wanting guests to feel at home while away from home, the luxurious brand-new staterooms and suites will be lighter, brighter, and even more spacious. Stripped down to their studs, every ounce of the re-inspired accommodations will be modernized, featuring custom-crafted furnishings, exotic stone and polished wood finishes, and designer accessories, creating a harmonious celebration of style and comfort.

"The staterooms and suites are the most dramatic of the transformation," added Ruiz. "They now feature a very clean design with a sophisticated air. Enhanced by nuanced shades of the sea and sky, the tones are warm and soothing, incorporating silvery greys and greens alongside vivid sapphires and taupes."

For convenience, USB ports will be incorporated in each of the staterooms, as well as a state-of-the-art television system with movies on demand in multiple-languages, live stations and a program guide, plus itinerary information and weather updates.

Lustrous New Bathrooms

Every fixture and surface of the bathrooms will be new, with designer features, perfect lighting, lavish vanities, and chic glass shower enclosures. Penthouse, Vista, and Owner's Suites bathrooms become true luxury retreats, offering more space outfitted with Carrara marble, polished granite, and sleek onyx.

Re-Inspiration By The Numbers

• $100 Million Dollars

• 1,368 New Suites and Staterooms

• 1,400 New Marble Bathrooms

• 8,000 New Light Fixtures

• 12,000 New Sofas and Chairs

• 1,000+ Artisans and Craftsmen

Seabourn to Make First-Ever Visits to Cuba
Seabourn announced this week that it has received approval to begin sailing to Cuba from Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, starting with a 12-day cruise aboard Seabourn Sojourn departing Miami on November 4, 2019. Seabourn becomes Carnival Corporation's third cruise brand currently approved to sail to Cuba.

Bookings for Seabourn's cruises to Cuba open today. Guests can choose from four separate itineraries with five different departure dates. The addition of Seabourn's sailings will help meet the growing demand for luxury travel experiences to Cuba.

The 11-, 12-, and 14-day sailings will visit five ports in Cuba, calling at three or four on each itinerary and providing guests the ideal opportunity to discover the different regions on this vast island. All five voyages will feature overnight stops in the historic capital city Havana, offering travelers ample opportunity to see and experience this vibrant destination. The visit to Havana allows guests time to explore the designated UNESCO World Heritage Site during its 500th anniversary year and immerse themselves in a wide array of historical and cultural experiences.

"For many luxury travelers, they aim to find new places to explore and discover meaningful new cultural opportunities, and Cuba is one of the most sought-after emerging destinations for many of our guests," said Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn. "We are excited to finally be able to include Cuba in our itineraries, and our guests and travel partners have been anxiously awaiting an ultra-luxury travel experience with a wider selection of destinations in this relatively undiscovered Caribbean treasure. These Cuba itineraries are fresh and sure to satisfy the curiosity of anyone who has considered visiting."

Seabourn Sojourn will call at five fascinating ports in Cuba throughout the season, offering ample opportunities for guests to discover history and culture, as well as several UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

• Antilla (Nipe Bay) - The entry to the deep-cut Nipe Bay passes by the Cayo Saetia National Park, a natural reservation with wide flora diversity and exotic fauna. The Holguin province offers authentic Cuban communities like San Isidoro de Holguin itself, with 18th-century churches and sleepy plazas. The Sierra del Cristal range holds lush pine forests and Pico Cristal and Mensura national parks with the twin Guayabo waterfalls, Cuba's highest.

• Cienfuegos - One of the later colonial cities of Cuba, Cienfuegos was founded by French nationals in 1819, yet it is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its remarkable concentration of 19th century architecture. The Jagua Castle at the entrance to the bay actually predates the city, erected in 1745 to protect ships from pirates. An overnight stay allows exploration of the city's highlights, as well as cultural experiences and a visit to the colonial town of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

• Havana (La Habana) - Visit Cuba's vivacious capital during its 500th anniversary in 2019. An overnight stay in the city offers ample opportunities to experience its history and enjoy the thriving music, dance and graphic arts scenes, as well connecting with artists, dancers and community projects. A highlight is Old Havana and its Fortification System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Havana invites guests to tour 16th-century plazas and Art Deco treasures in lovingly preserved vintage American cars from the 50s and 60s.

• Punta Francés, Isla de Juventud - This idyllic island is the second largest in Cuba, where Cuban vacationers snorkel and dive on coral reefs and shipwrecks in the National Marine Park. A hidden gem off the coast of Cuba, the island was once a pirate hideout. Now it supports farms dedicated to breeding sea turtles and crocodiles. The Punta del Este Caves are the "Sistine Chapel" of prehistoric Taino petroglyphs.

• Santiago de Cuba - Founded in 1515, Cuba's cultural capital is filled with monuments of its colonial and revolutionary history, including UNESCO World Heritage Site San Pedro de la Roca Castle. Santiago will reward a two-day stay with highlights including its cathedrals and the museums of the Moncada Barracks, the Velazquez House, the Lucha Clandestina museum and the neighboring community of El Cobre and its Basilica de la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre. It is also the wellspring of all styles of Cuban music.

While off the ship, guests may join UNESCO Partner Tours exploring Cuba's World Heritage cities including Santa Clara and Trinidad, the Biosphere Reserve at Las Terrazas, plus participatory excursions both by day and by night, tracing the Cuban culinary, musical and artistic heritage and including meetings with arts and community projects in Havana, Santiago and Cienfuegos. Additionally, a stop at Cienfuegos presents the opportunity for a special visit to the colonial town of Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cuba's province of Sancti Spíritus. In addition, guests can enjoy several complimentary Seabourn special events and experiences, such as Caviar in the Surf* beach barbecues in Isla Catalina and Carambola Beach, as well as Marina Day with complimentary watersports in Isla Catalina operating directly from the back of the ship, weather and conditions permitting.

Celebrity Unveils Its Most Technologically Advanced Theater
With its transformational design, Celebrity Edge is poised to raise the bar on modern luxury travel to even greater heights, and the entertainment on board is just as game-changing as the ship itself. On Celebrity Edge, guests will experience the brand’s most technologically advanced main theater, the most production shows of any ship in the brand’s history, the largest cast of world-class performers on any premium cruise ship, and more entertainment venues than ever before. Guests should expect nothing less from the ship that is leading THE CELEBRITY REVOLUTION.

“With Celebrity Edge, we have created our biggest and most comprehensive lineup of entertainment to date. We’ve truly taken entertainment to the edge,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “Entertainment on Celebrity is daring and bold, dynamic and refreshing, surrounding you at every turn. It makes every moment of your vacation an unforgettable journey, and the entertainment on Celebrity Edge takes this philosophy further than ever before. We are changing the future of our entertainment – just as we are with everything we are doing on Celebrity Edge.”

The Theatre on Celebrity Edge throws away the curtain altogether, blurring the line between audience and performance and immersing guests in an entertainment experience like no other. With four stage areas and three gigantic, moving projection screens, The Theatre offers an ever-changing canvas for the productions that live here.

The main stage extends into the audience creating a theater-in-the-round sensation. A duo-directional rotating platform raises almost seven feet above the stage to take performances to a whole new level. With two rotating spiral staircases, 10 synchronized panoramic projection screens, 16 state-of-the-art video mapping laser projectors, aerial performance rigging, and more, the technology behind the scenes will at times steal the show.

“In designing Celebrity Edge, we developed and used some of the most advanced technology available. And, in designing the entertainment venues on Celebrity Edge, we used those same tools to break the mold of what people think an entertainment venue is,” said Brian Abel, Senior Vice President, Hotel Operations, Celebrity Cruises.

To help create an industry-leading theater space, Celebrity turned to award-winning architect and designer Scott Butler, founding partner of Wilson Butler Architects, a firm known for designing some of the most innovative arts and entertainment venues in the world.

“We wanted to take the idea of traditional theater and turn it on its head,” said Butler. “The Theatre on Celebrity Edge was designed to awaken people – immersing them in the experience, stimulating their senses and altering their expectations for live entertainment.”

To make all of The Theatre’s technology run like clockwork, Celebrity collaborated with TAIT, a leader in the stage automation business. The entire stage performs a precise synchronization of rotating stage platforms, rain curtains, spiraling staircases, flying aerial rigs, and the tallest projection screens at sea. TAIT’s automation is coupled with the visions of the Black Skull Creative group, who’ve created contemporary shows and experiences around the world, including the 2012 London Olympics. Celebrity also teamed up with Three In One Entertainment and Consulting, whose creative successes include INFERNO: The Fire Spectacular in Las Vegas.

“We’ve created the most exciting and technologically advanced entertainment venues in our fleet, so of course we worked with the most revolutionary production companies,” said Becky Thomson-Foley, Associate Vice President, Entertainment, Celebrity Cruises. “We are combining incredible venues with visionary experiences that will stay with guests long after they leave.”

At The Theatre, guests can enjoy five new full production shows, including the Shakespeare-inspired A Hot Summer Night’s Dream, where light-hearted theater meets extraordinary acrobatics; The Jewelry Box, with its jaw-dropping technological feats; Kaleidoscope, a high-energy music and dance extravaganza harnessing the stage’s state-of-the-art technology; and two shows as part of Celebrity’s new Headline Residency program – Get Up, a dynamic pop concert produced by Black Skull Creative, and The Purpose, an uplifting production designed to celebrate the inner self.

Brought to life once again in collaboration with the visionaries behind Eden – Butler and famed designer and architect Patricia Urquiola – The Club on Celebrity Edge is a progressive space that changes its persona from morning to... well, early the next morning.

During the day, The Club offers experiences such as the Funovation Laser Maze Challenge, the Drone Hunting laser obstacle course, and more.

At night, The Club undergoes yet another transformation. Undercover at The Club puts a contemporary spin on the Prohibition era with 20’s-inspired craft cocktails and an aerial saxophonist. The futuristic body scanner of Andromeda allows guests to become someone else for the evening. And Celebrity’s Hypno Cam Experience is a first-at-sea dance party featuring a high-tech camera that’s passed around to capture photos, which are instantly displayed on a giant LED screen.

On Celebrity Edge, the brand takes its fully customizable Camp at Sea program to the next level for younger travelers of all ages with more than 500 activities, including Celebrity’s first youth coding experience at sea, and two completely separate contemporary spaces, one for the kids and one for the teens.

Celebrity has infused entertainment throughout the ship. At the Rooftop Garden, guests can enjoy experiences such as the Rooftop Concert Series and the Garden Cinema Series, the next evolution of the brand’s Taste of Film experience that’s an under-the-stars moviegoing experience with live musical performances.

The iconic Eden will feature evolving entertainment as the space transforms from a “chillful” escape in the mornings to “playful” in the afternoons to “sinful” at night. Daytime experiences include Meditation at Eden and performances from sitar players to aerialists. As dusks falls, Eve at Eden begins. Developed in partnership with Variety Worldwide, this theatrical journey will indulge every sense and put guests at the center of the experience, for a fusion of culinary exploration, performance art and nightlife – like nothing else at sea, or even on land.

Princess Cruises Unveils New Beverage Menus
Princess Cruises has revealed the line's newly enhanced beverage menus, featuring globally inspired signature cocktail offerings created by master mixologist Rob Floyd. As one of the most significant beverage changes in the history of the company, destination-specific ingredients have been carefully selected to tantalize guests' taste buds with flavors from every corner of the world. In addition to the new cocktails, the line has added 20 new high-end and exotic spirits, 39 new wines by the glass, and 17 new international and craft beers to the new menu.

"As part of our continued commitment to the guest experience, we are thrilled to debut new menus throughout the bars and lounges aboard Princess ships," said Mario Siebaldi, senior vice president of guest operations for Princess Cruises. "Broadening the scope of our beverage options by partnering with notable industry leaders like Rob Floyd on globally inspired cocktails, as well as increasing our selection of beers and wines on board are all part of our aim to provide guests the best cruise vacation experience at sea. And with our new shareable drink recipes, guests can recreate their favorite memories once back at home over and over again."

Highlights of the new onboard offerings include a set of signature cocktails designed by Floyd, who used fresh ingredients and destination inspiration to develop a portfolio of new drinks for Princess Cruises. Bars and lounges throughout the ships will also feature new, themed menus, so guests can have fun exploring the different offerings at the various bars on board.

"I was truly inspired by ingredients from all the amazing destinations that Princess Cruises sails," said Rob Floyd. "Guests will be able to enjoy a wide selection of fully realized drinks that combine what I refer to as the Three T's: taste, technique, and tale."

Floyd believes spectacular drinks combine the best of "The Three T's." First and foremost is "Taste," as interesting ingredient combinations produce delicious flavors. The second element, "Technique," refers to the skill and craft that goes into creating each drink. And last but not least the "Tale;" a creative and fascinating inspiration behind each unique cocktail.

Whether traveling to Mexico, Italy, or the South Pacific, the globally designed cocktails by Rob Floyd have the flavors to inspire. Initial offerings include:

• Mayan Heat: Patrón Silver tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, agave syrup, muddled jalapeño

• Italian Sunset: Aperol, Bombay Sapphire gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, Angostura bitters

• Ver-Jus: St. George "Terroir" gin, St-Germain, muddled green grapes, lemon juice, simple syrup

• Mint Divine: Bombay Sapphire gin, ginger beer, cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup, fresh mint

• Amaretto Manhattan: Bulleit Bourbon, Disaronno, sweet vermouth, Angostura orange bitters

• Princess Punch: Absolut Elyx vodka, St. George raspberry liqueur, fresh lime, simple syrup, Gosling's ginger beer

• East Side Punch: Absolut Elyx vodka, fresh mint, cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup, club soda

• A Trip to the Tropics: Absolut Elyx vodka, apricot liqueur, orange juice, pineapple juice, pomegranate juice

• Ivory Coast: Grey Goose vodka, Amarula African liqueur, Kahlúa, chocolate shavings

• The Egyptian Zombie: Bacardi Superior rum, Gosling's Dark rum, blackberry brandy, sweet and sour, orange juice, pineapple juice, grenadine

Rounding out the new drinks are "zero-proof cocktails," made without alcohol. These light, fruity and refreshing drinks skimp on the alcohol, but miss none of the flavor.

• Zero Mojito: Fresh mint, lime, simple syrup, Sprite

• Strawberries on Fire: Fresh strawberries, lime juice, agave syrup, jalapeño, soda

The new beverage menu offerings will be available aboard all ships in fall 2018.

Cunard Queens Meet Red Arrows in the Solent in Southampton
On the evening of August 10, 2018, Cunard's three queens—Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth—sailed from Southampton and were sent off by the Red Arrows, The Royal Air Force Aerobic Team with a display of a flying formation.

The sendoff marks the first time in Cunard's history that guests had the opportunity to see the Red Arrows flying display while onboard.

Guests on board Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria will also be treated to a special commentary while the jets performed. Listeners in the United Kingdom were also able to tune into the commentary on Cowes radio – 87.7FM.

The Cunard fleet set sail from Southampton at 5:30p.m., heading for the Isle of Wright. The fleet also received a memorable and unique send off from the yachtsmen and spectators at Cowes and the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Friday was a day of celebration for the luxury cruise line in Southampton. In addition to the amazing display, Cunard is hosted five lucky children who won a competition to visit the three Queens and enjoy a 'Captain for the Day' experience. To win the competition they had to share with Cunard, in their own words, why they deserved to be a 'Captain for the Day' and they were judged on the creativity of their entry.

The children were given a tour of Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth, spending time with Captain and a visit to the Bridge. They also enjoyed lunch on board and finished their day with a trip round all three Queens in a speedboat.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 58.99 - 0.99%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 113.62 + 1.73%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.33 - 2.21%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 51.16 + 2.83%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Today it's common place, but which was the first cruise ship to be enlarged by having an 85 foot mid-section inserted? As a result of this surgery, her capacity increased from 876 to over 1,200.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Just outside of the Britannia Restaurant on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 are a series of metallic, art deco-influenced frescoes celebrating the historical and cultural icons of the continents. In addition to the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol on the "North America" mural there is a very tiny and surprising representative of the continent? Can you name him/her?

Answer - The first cruise ship to be enlarged was the Song of Norway.
courtesy of Manuela Flynn


Cruise News - August 6, 2018

Royal Caribbean Reports Record Second Quarter Earnings
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) today reported record second quarter results and reaffirmed its full year Adjusted EPS guidance of $8.70 to $8.90 per share. The company noted that this guidance includes a $0.35 negative impact from currency and fuel since the April guidance. This negative impact is being offset by better second quarter results and an improved revenue outlook. For the second quarter, Royal Caribbean said that it reported US GAAP earnings of $2.19 per share and adjusted earnings of $2.27 per share, beating guidance by $0.39 per share.

"While we are frustrated by foreign exchange and fuel rates, we are tickled pink that our business continues to excel and overcome these headwinds," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. "It is a pleasure to prove, once again, how strong our brands are and to demonstrate continued upside to our yields while maintaining strong expense control."

SECOND QUARTER 2018

US GAAP Net Income for the second quarter of 2018 was $466.3 million or $2.19 per share and Adjusted Net Income was $482.2 million or $2.27 per share. Last year, both US GAAP and Adjusted Net Income were $369.5 million or $1.71 per share. Royal Caribbean said that it beat the Adjusted EPS guidance for the second quarter by $0.39. Such a high level of favorability is unusual and was driven by a noteworthy confluence of factors including: better than expected revenue from the global brands, better performance from the joint ventures and lower than expected expenses which were driven by timing.

Gross Yields were up 2.7% and Net Yields were up 2.8% in Constant-Currency, exceeding prior guidance due to strong close-in demand for our core products and better onboard revenues.

Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 1.1% in Constant-Currency. Net Cruise Costs ("NCC") excluding Fuel per APCD were up 1.1% in Constant-Currency, lower than guidance, driven by the timing of hotel and marine related projects and marketing related expenses.

Additionally, better than expected performance below the line, mainly due to additional returns from our joint ventures, contributed to the quarter's unusually high performance.

Bunker pricing net of hedging for the second quarter was $513.6 per metric ton and consumption was 335.5 metric tons.

Since our last call, Royal Caribbean said that it repurchased $300 million in shares as part of the $1 billion repurchase program authorized in May 2018.

FULL YEAR 2018

Royal Caribbean said that it expects its full year Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $8.70 to $8.90 per share. This range includes a negative impact of $0.35 from currency and fuel versus our previous quarterly guidance and $0.06 in additional interest expense related to the purchase price for Silversea. Thus, excluding the impact of currency, fuel and additional interest related to the Silversea investment, Royal Caribbean said that it is effectively raising its guidance by $0.40 per share.

Royal Caribbean said that it expects a Net Yield increase in the range of 2.75% to 3.75% in Constant-Currency. As-Reported yields are expected to be up 3.25% to 4.0%.

NCC excluding Fuel are expected to be up approximately 2.5% in Constant-Currency - in line with previous guidance; and up approximately 3.0% As-Reported.

Taking into account current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said that it estimates 2018 Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $8.70 to $8.90 per share.

"2018 is shaping up to be another year of record earnings, which is being driven by a strong demand environment and effective cost and capital management," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO. "While it is too early to guide on 2019, it is very encouraging to see these positive trends further supporting a strong book of business for next year."

THIRD QUARTER 2018

Constant-Currency Net Yields are expected to be up approximately 2.0% for the third quarter of 2018.

NCC excluding Fuel for the third quarter are expected to be down approximately 1.0% in Constant-Currency.

Based on current fuel pricing, interest and currency exchange rates, and the factors detailed above, Royal Caribbean said that it expects third quarter Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $3.90 to $3.95 per share. This number includes the negative impact of approximately $0.20 from currency and fuel when compared to the rates included in our previous quarterly guidance.

SILVERSEA

As separately announced, Royal Caribbean said that it received all necessary governmental approvals for the Silversea share purchase and closed the transaction on July 31st. Accordingly, the guidance above includes approximately $0.06 in additional interest expense related to the financing of purchase price. Royal Caribbean said that it will record Silversea's results with a three-month lag, which means that the company expects to begin consolidating their operations in the fourth quarter of 2018.

As previously stated, Silversea is not expected to materially impact near term Adjusted Earnings per Share for the company as a whole. However, the consolidation of Silversea will have some impact on the company's metrics. Firstly, the transaction involves purchase accounting adjustments which will take some time to determine. Although the bulk of these adjustments will be excluded from Adjusted Earnings per Share there could be some included. These will not be known for some time, but have been assumed to be neutral in the above guidance.

More visibly, Silversea is an ultra-luxury brand with higher per berth revenues and higher per berth expenses than our other brands. While the bottom line impact in the near term should be immaterial, the consolidation will mean higher average yields for the company and higher costs per berth.

Lindblad Expeditions Expands Long-term Strategic Partnership With National Geographic Partners
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. announced today that it has expanded its agreement with National Geographic Partners ("National Geographic") to include all of the Americas.

The relationship between Lindblad and National Geographic, founded in 2004 and steeped in a shared interest in exploration, research, technology and conservation, includes co-selling, co-marketing and branding arrangements that run through 2025. With the addition of the Canada and Latin America markets to the existing agreement covering the United States, Australia and New Zealand, Lindblad and National Geographic have further deepened their long-term strategic partnership and will collectively invest to further accelerate growth in these important geographies.

The United States has long been the primary source market for Lindblad, and with the rapidly accelerating demand for authentic and immersive experiential travel the Company certainly expects significant domestic growth for years to come. At the same time, many of the trends powering the increase in expedition travel in the United States are manifesting themselves globally as well, and deepening expansion into select international markets is a core part of Lindblad's growth strategy.

The expanded collaboration with National Geographic provides an opportunity for Lindblad and National Geographic to leverage the strong brand position National Geographic holds in Canada and key Latin American markets, while at the same time building upon Lindblad's long-established leadership position in the United States expedition travel market.

Given the accelerating demand for high quality and authentic expedition travel and the expanded agreement with National Geographic, Lindblad's Board of Directors recently approved the build of an additional blue water vessel to explore the world's most unique and remote locations. This state of the art vessel, which is anticipated to be delivered in 2021, will be the next step in the Company's fleet expansion following the launch of the National Geographic Quest in July 2017, the addition of the National Geographic Venture to the fleet in December 2018 and the delivery of the National Geographic Endurance in the first quarter of 2020.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Lindblad has been a pioneer in expedition travel for fifty years. By extending our successful partnership with National Geographic, energizing new markets and expanding our fleet, we are taking the next steps in our long-term growth strategy. Our experience and track record in delivering unparalleled experiences in the world's most amazing locations ideally positions us to capitalize on the explosive growth in high quality adventure travel."

"National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions have, over the past 14 years, found an extraordinary level of common cause. This manifests itself in knowing the importance of people exploring the world, building understanding and becoming more knowledgeable and energized citizens," says Gary E. Knell, CEO of National Geographic Partners. "Our collaboration goes far beyond business, into education, conservation and storytelling through expedition travel. We know collectively that our partnership's goal is to consistently grow the number of people who explore our world and that's why we're so excited to expand our partnership to include the Canadian and Latin American markets."

Royal Caribbean Hosts Largest Movie Premiere At Sea
Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is making waves in Hollywood this summer with her starring role, alongside Kristen Bell, Kelsey Grammer and Seth Rogen, in the Netflix original “Like Father.”

To celebrate, on Friday, Aug.3, the cruise line hosted the largest movie premiere at sea by screening the dramedy across its Oasis Class ships – the world’s largest cruise ships: Symphony, Harmony, Allure and Oasis of the Seas – in the iconic AquaTheater, the onboard amphitheater boasting two movie screens. Leading up to the premiere, guests were treated to a special event in the signature Boardwalk neighborhood, featuring a live DJ, face painting, delicious treats and beverage specials.

“Like Father” was filmed on board Harmony of the Seas and showcases the famed actors experiencing the robust lineup of thrilling activities and amenities for which Royal Caribbean is known, including Boleros, The Perfect Storm, FlowRider, Royal Promenade, Rising Tide Bar, and the line’s private island destination Labadee, Haiti, where they braved the longest overwater zip line.

The movie, written, directed and produced by Lauren Miller Rogen, features Kristen Bell as a young advertising executive and workaholic, who was left at the altar and unexpectedly ends up on her Caribbean honeymoon cruise with her estranged father – Kelsey Grammer. After several adventures and much soul-searching, the two return with a renewed appreciation for family and life. The film launched globally on Netflix on August 3.

Azamara Journey Meets Sister Ship Azamara Pursuit During Its Maiden Voyage
Yesterday, Azamara Club Cruises celebrated a rare occurrence as two of its three vessels, Azamara Pursuit – currently on its maiden voyage – and Azamara Journey – welcoming new officers – met in Haugesund, Norway. The meeting was celebrated with a variety of activities including an on-shore gathering, which brought the guests and crew from each ship together, as well as a sail away party featuring Norwegian cuisine, cocktails and entertainment.

"Azamara Pursuit, joining its highly award-winning sister, Azamara Journey, marks a new era for the Azamara brand," said Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. "To celebrate the special meeting of the two ships, we could not think of a better way to welcome the new ship and team members than with a celebration that brings together our crew and guests. We are thrilled to do this in Norway – one of Azamara's most popular destinations."

As part of its land programing, enabling guests to explore deeper into Haugsesund, Azamara offered guests from both ships an exclusive tour of Kyvik Herring Factory, led by the executive chefs onboard Azamara Pursuit and Azamara Journey. During the tour, travelers met the local producers who are committed to keeping Norway's vibrant Herring fishing tradition alive and learned the process of salting, seasoning, and preserving the fish for use in classic cuisine.

To give guests the opportunity to celebrate with crew from both ships, Azamara and the port of Haugesund hosted a party on the pier upon arrival and as guests were returning from their day exploring. The event featured a display of authentic Norwegian customs with a flag parade led by local children dressed in Bunad, traditional Norwegian folk costumes that are worn for special events. The event also included the opportunity for guests to join the plaque ceremony between both captains, the Haugesund Mayor and the port officials.

The celebration continued on-board the vessels with a party showcasing Azamara's commitment to Destination Immersion. As the ships departed from port, both blew their horns in unison as guests and crew waved goodbye. They also toasted the sister ships meeting with a cocktail mixed with Linie Akvavit – a signature liquor of Norway – all to the sounds of "We Are Family." The evening concluded with Azamara's white night-inspired sail away party with a special Scandinavian twist.

Guests and crew had the opportunity to tour each ship upon arrival in port. They were guided through the various spaces of the ship including the restaurants, pool deck, fitness center, and more.

The port town of Haugesund is considered one of the country's principal cultural centers and known as the birthplace of Norway. The lands around Haugesund were lands of power during the Viking Age, and the first king of Norway lived very near by the present city center. Azamara Journey is sailing the 15-Night Journey to North Cape and Azamara Pursuit is sailing the 12-Night Norway Intensive Voyage with eight stops in Scandinavian country.

Princess Cruises Exclusive Burger Now Available On Land
The "Ernesto," the signature burger of The Salty Dog Gastropub aboard select Princess Cruises ships will now be available on land for the first time, added as a featured item on the dinner menu of chef partner, Ernesto Uchimura's Los Angeles based neighborhood restaurant and bar, Electric Owl.

Developed in collaboration with Ernesto Uchimura, a founding chef of the original Umami Burger, the "Ernesto" is the signature offering at The Salty Dog Gastropub and the Salty Dog Grill, both found on select ships in the Princess Cruises fleet. The gastropub was unveiled in 2016 and the grill in 2017 as part of the line's Come Back New Promise, $450 million multi-year product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign to enhance the line's onboard guest experience.

The namesake burger consists of ribeye and short rib beef patty, grilled pork belly, caramelized kimchi, beer battered jalapeño, charred onion aioli and is topped with cave-aged Gruyère cheese. Uchimura's creation has been voted "Best Burger at Sea" by Cruise Critic.

"Creating the 'Ernesto' as my namesake burger and having it offered aboard Princess ships around the world has been such a proud moment for me," said Uchimura. "As a chef, I have a passion for sharing my food with the world, and through this partnership I've been able to reach further than ever before. It was only fitting to bring the burger home to Los Angeles, and offer it to our guests here at Electric Owl."

Princess Cruises Expands Annual Relaxation Report Internationally
For its ninth annual Relaxation Report, Princess Cruises expanded the depth of its study to a global audience, adding representation from Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, United Kingdom, and Australia. The global results when it comes to relaxation and sleep are surprisingly similar across different countries. According to results of the survey by Wakefield Research for Princess Cruises, global adults aren't dedicating time for sleep or relaxation, with more than half (51%) of global adults reporting they get less sleep than they need on an average night and 80 percent of adults are using weekend days to make up for sleep lost during the weekday.

One way employees can set aside time to relax is to take a vacation, and the survey found that a little over half of those surveyed (55%) took all of the vacation days available to them in the last year with the UK respondents at the top of the list (76%) and the Japanese at the bottommost (28%). Of those who did not use all of their vacation days, the top reasons are:

• They had too much work to get done (38%)

• They couldn't find a good time to take off (34%)

• There was a lack of support at work to take time off (25%)

And when using their vacation days, 75 percent of those who are employed take days off to catch up on sleep – seven days on average per year.

As one of the world's largest international premium cruise brands, Princess Cruises is committed to ensuring its guests come back from vacation feeling refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. As part of its Come Back New Promise, Princess Cruises partnered with leading experts in both the science and beauty of sleep to develop the Princess Luxury Bed. Together with board-certified sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and designer Candice Olson, Princess Cruises now delivers its guests the ultimate night of sleep at sea.

"Sleep continues to trouble people around the globe and across generations, whether at home or while traveling. Sleep is a vital, sensory experience that allows our bodies to recharge and recover from mental and physical strains," said Dr. Breus. "By collaborating with Princess Cruises, I believe we've come up with some really unique aspects for not just the Princess Luxury Bed itself, but the entire experience that will allow guests to sleep really well on their cruise vacation."

Americans and Relaxation

• Resting Rituals – Technology is a major culprit that can keep a mind and body from winding down. Yet, most (68%) Americans watch TV before turning in, 39% look at social media.

• Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows – Outside of night-time rituals, the current events of the day can impact sleep as well. As it turns out, today's tense political climate has a lot of people on edge, making it harder for them to relax. In fact, nearly three in five (59%) Americans admit as much.

• Skewed Priorities – From the realities of the world at large to responsibilities at work and home, taking time to give our minds and bodies a break is key. Few Americans dedicate time to relax each day. More than three in four Americans (78%) do not set aside time to unwind every day, unchanged from 2017.

• Vacation Neglect – Nearly half (46%) of working Americans with vacation did not use all the time available to them over the past 12 months. This is up significantly from 2017, when just under two in five (39%) did the same.

• Working For the Weekend – Nearly three-fourths (72%) of Americans use weekends to make up for sleep they lost during the week.

Some Global Comparisons The Most Sleep Deprived Countries – Adults getting somewhat less or much less sleep than needed

• UK: 63%
• Singapore: 62%
• Australia: 61%
• U.S.: 58%
• China and Korea: 53%
• Taiwan and Japan: 49%
• Hong Kong: 48%
• Malaysia: 47%
• Vietnam: 38%
• Indonesia: 34%

Use of Weekends by County to Catch Up On Sleep

• Vietnam: 92%
• China: 90%
• Hong Kong: 87%
• Indonesia: 85%
• Taiwan: 84%
• Singapore and Malaysia: 82%
• Korean: 81%
• Australia: 73%
• U.S.: 72%
• UK and Japan: 66%

Days Taken off by Country per Year (on average) to Catch Up on Sleep

• Vietnam – 11 days
• Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia – 9 days
• China – 8 days
• Hong Kong – 7 days
• Singapore and Australia – 6 days
• UK and U.S. – 5 days
• Korea – 4 days
• Japan – 3 days

By 2019 more than 45,000 Princess Luxury Beds will be fully rolled out to over 22,000 staterooms. The bed features a plush, two-inch thick pillow top, a nine-inch, single-sided medium firm mattress for enhanced support, individually wrapped coils for less partner disturbance, a European-inspired duvet and 100% luxurious Jacquard-woven cotton linens.

Stock Watch
The following are the latest closing prices for selected cruise line stocks.

Company Today's Closing
Price
Change
(since last week)
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) 58.41 - 0.54%
Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) 111.69 + 0.59%
GENTING HK - Star, Crystal Cruises (HKSE:0678.HK) 1.36 + 3.82%
Norwegian Cruise Line (Nasdq: NCLH) 49.75 - 0.02%

Cruise News Trivia Question:
Today it's common place, but which was the first cruise ship to be enlarged by having an 85 foot mid-section inserted? As a result of this surgery, her capacity increased from 876 to over 1,200.

Answer - Will be published in next week's column along with the name of the first person to submit the correct answer. Send your answer to cruise2014 at travelpage.com

Last Week's Question
Which cruise ship was the first to provide passengers Internet access?

Answer - In 1999, Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Sky became the first cruise ship to offer their passengers onboard Internet access.
courtesy of Herbert A Rideout, Fallbrook, CA

VACATION & CRUISE SPECIALS
Check out these great deals from CruisePage.com

Royal Caribbean - Bahamas Getaway from $129 per person
Description: Experience the beautiful ports of Nassau and Royal Caribbean's private island - CocoCay on a 3-night Weekend Getaway to the Bahamas. Absorb everything island life has to offer as you snorkel with the stingrays, parasail above the serene blue waters and walk the endless white sand beaches. From Miami.
Carnival - 4-Day Bahamas  from $229 per person
Description: Enjoy a wonderful 3 Day cruise to the fun-loving playground of Nassau, Bahamas. Discover Nassau, the capital city as well as the cultural, commercial and financial heart of the Bahamas. Meet the Atlantic Southern Stingrays, the guardians of Blackbeard's treasure.
NCL - Bermuda - 7 Day from $499 per person
Description: What a charming little chain of islands. Walk on pink sand beaches. Swim and snorkel in turquoise seas. Take in the historical sights. They're stoically British and very quaint. Or explore the coral reefs. You can get to them by boat or propelled by fins. You pick. Freestyle Cruising doesn't tell you where to go or what to do. Sure, you can plan ahead, or decide once onboard. After all, it's your vacation. There are no deadlines or must do's.
Holland America - Eastern Caribbean from From $599 per person
Description: White sand, black sand, talcum soft or shell strewn, the beaches of the Eastern Caribbean invite you to swim, snorkel or simply relax. For shoppers, there's duty-free St. Thomas, the Straw Market in Nassau, French perfume and Dutch chocolates on St. Maarten. For history buffs, the fascinating fusion of Caribbean, Latin and European cultures. For everyone, a day spent on HAL's award winning private island Half Moon Cay.
Celebrity - 7-Night Western Mediterranean  from $549 per person
Description: For centuries people have traveled to Europe to see magnificent ruins, art treasures and natural wonders. And the best way to do so is by cruise ship. Think of it - you pack and unpack only once. No wasted time searching for hotels and negotiating train stations. Instead, you arrive at romantic ports of call relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Holland America - Alaska from From $499 per person
Description: Sail between Vancouver and Seward, departing Sundays on the ms Statendam or ms Volendam and enjoy towering mountains, actively calving glaciers and pristine wildlife habitat. Glacier Bay and College Fjord offer two completely different glacier-viewing experiences.
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